Putin 'on the ropes' as the Ukrainians continue backwarded

World | Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at 11:34 AM

Foreign correspondent ABC News, Tom Soufi Burridge, speaks with "Start Here" of the latest developments in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict.

While Ukrainian forces continue to set up a counter-offensive against the Russian army and to recover the invaded land of the country in the Northeast, Russian President Vladimir Putin increased his military mobilization and his rhetoric against Ukrainian officials. Foreign correspondent ABC News, Tom Soufi Burridge, who is in Kharkiv, spoke to "Start Here" by ABC News on Wednesday on the latest developments. This document photo published by the general staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on September 21, 2022, shows Ukrainian artillerymen with a cannon along the front line in an unknown location in Ukraine. Ukraine / AFP Armed Forces Staff Via Start here: Ukraine continues to push Russia from some of his bastions ... And we are just starting to see what life looked like for residents, right? Tom Soufi Burridge: Yes, exactly. We have been in the areas of the newly released territory. It took us about three hours to drive there from the city of Kharkiv southeast here. And we went to a city called Izyum, and it could be a name that is starting to register with people at the moment. In the forest, by the city, we have visited what is a newly discovered mass of mass burial and what the Ukrainian authorities have done in the past few days, and we have seen them work [with] these forensic teams In their white overalls. I mean, digging with carefully in the ground, somehow of sandy soil under this pine forest to dig up these bodies, remove them from the ground, [exhume them to exhume them so that they can really identify the victims. Now, I think what people might not achieve on this subject when they looked at this about the kinds of news titles is that some of the people in this forest died of natural causes. Now, they could have died prematurely due to the lack of food, the lack of water [and] the lack of drugs in these territories occupied by Russia during the war. And more disturbing, I think, some of the victims who are withdrawn from the ground, according to Ukrainian officials, show signs of torture. An expert in forensic explosives examines a crater of an explosion of missiles in a freight station in Kharkiv, on September 21, 2022, in the middle of the military invasion of Russia in Ukraine. Sergey Bobok / AFP via We also met a guy called Sergei Living still in Izyum. We met him with his building, which was destroyed in a Russian missile strike. More than 40 of his friends and neighbors were killed during this attack and most of them are now buried in this burial place in the forest. We met relatives going to these tombs. They go there to try to find parents to try to identify where their loved ones are. And we actually met a lady who had a piece of paper and she had the number of her husband's tomb. She knew where he was. He was killed in a Russian air strike or a bombing, but she had two numbers for her mother-in-law. And she did not know which one of the two tombs, numbered, was the right grave for her mother-in-law. Start here: Well, so you think of these cities which have been under Russian control for several months now, not weeks, but months. And does that help us explain what has happened in the past 24 hours? Because I have heard that Russia will now organize referendums in certain pockets of Ukraine where they control. And these referendums would be like a vote, as do you want to be part of Russia? To which I would have said, as, Duh, these can be impossible elections. I'm sure Russia will say: "Yes, everyone wants to be Russian now" - that doesn't mean it's true. So why was this announcement so serious? Burridge: I think it's a massive matter because ... I'm quite confident that they will not be free and just. It will not be a vote that will be recognized internationally. At the White House and Pentagon [they] say it is an imposture. And I think most people from the Western world agree with this. And now we actually see Russia say: "Okay, we will say that all this territory in our order." And the reason why this is important is because in the war in the future, that Increases the issues a little and this raises the possibility that if Ukraine with western weapons attacks these territories, Russia could try to claim that it is a direct attack on Russia and you have more. Start here: then now, the answer is as if they had attacked Saint Petersburg or if they attack a border city in Russia. This is how they will react. Burridge: Now, it is, I think that is the principle they put in their rhetoric. Now, obviously, I think some analysts already say, well, wait a minute. And in fact, you already hear that of American officials. They say: "It's a greatness by the Russians. It is part of their information game." Russian President Vladimir Putin makes an address on the conflict with Ukraine, in Moscow in this image still taken from the video published on September 21, 2022. Sputnik via Reuters They try to raise the stakes. Putin is on the ropes. He was massively weakened after losing huge amounts of territory in northeast Ukraine, around Kharkiv, where we are. And he’s trouble. It is increasingly isolated internationally. In recent days, it was really interesting at home. It is difficult to read right away in Russia. We don't know what public opinion looks like. The media is very controlled. There is no freedom of expression, etc. For example, a Russian singer megastar recently released on Instagram and basically, and was really out for the first time against war. And it is a figure that is really massively popular among generations, like someone who also dates back to older generations, who are traditionally a kind of Putin fans. Putin is therefore trouble and he is in a corner and now he comes out of this kind of tactics to raise the issues on the battlefield. And it looks like a slightly dangerous moment. [ ]] Gotopnews.com

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