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Kremlin Lets State Media Tell Some Truths About Putin’s Stalling War

  • Official claims of success ring hollow amid Ukraine advance
  • Military commanders criticized as Putin still protected
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With its troops losing ground almost daily, the Kremlin has told some of its state media to start admitting some of the failings of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, worried that its relentlessly upbeat propaganda was fueling growing public doubts.

The shift in policy over the last few weeks, described by people familiar with the Kremlin’s tight message management who spoke on condition of anonymity, has unleashed a wave of unusual public criticism of the military. After months of reporting virtually nothing but battlefield successes, state TV has lately been cataloging Russian retreats and defeats - without the usual positive spin from the Ministry of Defense.