Embarrassing blunder humiliates Putin as Russian TV host admits Crimea is part of Ukraine

A Russian presenter appeared to admit live on state TV that the illegally annexed Crimean Peninsula is not part of Russia in a major blow to Vladimir Putin.

Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea back in 2014 in an illegal seizure, despite the territory being internationally recognized as part of Ukraine.

But while Putin repeatedly maintains that Russia has a historic right to the land, a high-profile Kremlin propagandist appeared to reject Moscow’s claim through a medium partially responsible for keeping Putin locked in power.

Olga Skabeyeva, who has been dubbed the “Iron Doll of Putin TV”, made the comments during a broadcast on Russia-1, which was later shared on X (formerly Twitter) by Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs.

Another TV host could be heard saying initially saying in the clip: “There was just now a discussion about the Taurus [missiles]. The decision is practically made.”

The initial comment referred to the Taurus KEPD-350 missile, which Germany may ship over to Ukraine.

The host continued: “According to the announced figures, [the missile’s range] is 500 kilometers, but in fact, the potential of TAURUS missiles is somewhat different—up to 750 [kilometers]. Add in the fuel tanks capacity, and that’s another 15 percent bringing the number to 900 kilometers,”

But Skabeyeva then appeared to inject, surprisingly suggesting that Crimea is not part of the Russian Federation.

She said: “Obviously, they are not going to hit the territory of the Russian Federation as it really [would be] the Third World Nuclear War itself. So they’re probably going to hit Crimea, judging by the footage we’re getting more and more often.”

This could be a major blow for Putin, who has relied on state-owned media to mobilize public support for his illegal military exploits as well as to quash his political opponents in Russia.

This has helped the Russian dictator keep a firm grip on power as well as convince the Russian population that the invasion of Crimea and of the rest of Ukraine itself are justified operations.

Back in 2013, for instance, he told an annual news conference: “There should be patriotically minded people at the head of state information resources.”

Putin added: “People who uphold the interests of the Russian Federation. These are state resources. That is the way it is going to be.”

That is why when he first succeeded to power after former president Boris Yeltsin, Putin moved to monopolize not only state media but privately owned broadcast channels, placing them under the Kremlin’s influence instead.

Now, Putin has been able to promote the false claim that Russia’s annexation of Crimea was a genuine act of self-determination for the Crimean people via the mouthpiece of state media.

The annexation was presented as a rightful “return” of the peninsula to its original homeland, helping to bolster support for Putin’s vision of an imperial Russia and falsely legitimizing his illegal military intervention.

Ukraine, which has refused to stop fighting Russia’s superior military until its troops turn back across the border, has also said it will not stop until Crimea is recaptured too.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed his forces will reach the occupied peninsula “soon” but refused to identify a specific timeframe.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine have also been strategically targeting the territory to scupper the Russian onslaught.

They have taken responsibility for multiple stirkes at bridges linking the penninsula to the Russian mainland, including one over the Chonhar Strait and the Crimean Bridge over the Kerch Strait.

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Ukraine will keep aiming for targets in Russian-occupied Crimea to devastate Russian troops’ ability to fight and “help save the lives of Ukrainians”.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces also hope that by advancing to the coast, they will sever the Russian land bridge, cutting off supply lines between occupied Crimea and Putin’s forces further east.

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source: express.co.uk