Hosts on Russian state TV were sent into a meltdown after the humiliating sight of an explosion on the supposed untouchable Kerch bridge in Crimea. Several senior Russian figures called for immediate revenge and retaliatory strikes, while others called for Russians to cancel Christmas and New Years’ celebrations and send their money to the military frontline. At the start of his programme on Saturday, Russian state TV host Sergey Mardan appeared speechless and let out a series of long sighs as he discussed the bridge attack.
This comes as the British Ministry of Defence suggested the explosion “will likely touch President Putin closely” due to its proximity to his 70th birthday on Friday as well as his personal involvement in its construction.
The MoD’s latest intelligence briefing claimed the blast could have a “significant” impact on Russia’s “already strained ability to sustain its forces in southern Ukraine”.
During his broadcast on Solovyov Live, the prominent ally of Vladimir Putin said that Russian state media had made a mistake by laughing at Ukrainians and underestimating their army.
Mr Marden told Russian viewers: “We laughed at the helpless Ukrainians, at the ‘not-quite Russia,’ at the senseless West and Biden with Alzheimer’s.
“But everything that is happening now does not fit into this amusing picture, does it?
“It’s time to cry wolf. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have smelt blood.”
He warned viewers that the flow of weapons from the West “will not slow down but increase indefinitely”.
Mr Marden also revealed that many figures close to the Kremlin wanted the war to be over following Putin’s chaotic ‘partial mobilisation’ order.
He said: “After the mobilisation, I noticed the growth of pacifist inclinations in my circles, among the people of my generation or older.
“Very cautiously, they’re starting to come out and say how nice it would be if everything came to an end, since we’re not pulling through.”
He also urged Russian families not to spend money on Christmas and New Years but instead sent that money to buy winter uniforms for Russian soldiers.