Vladimir Putin made a rare public appearance on Thursday when he fired a sniper rifle at a training camp for mobilized Russians.
Mad Vlad was filmed firing a Russian SVD sniper rifle while being accompanied by a military officer who appeared to be carrying his “nuclear soccer ball”.
The Russian president, who recently turned 70, wore goggles as he tested the rifle at a range in the Ryazan region, about 100 miles south-east of the capital Moscow.
He lay under a net while firing multiple shots at a target about 300 yards away.
No footage has been released showing whether the short-sighted bully hit any of the targets, nor was there an explanation for the visit.
But in what experts have described as a deliberate attempt to intimidate the West, he was tailed by a uniformed officer carrying a briefcase resembling Putin’s “nuclear football.”
A second man, holding a differently shaped bag that may have contained vital medical supplies for Putin, was also spotted in his wake.
Vlad has been plagued by rumors of ill health for years, but they have increased in recent months following his disastrous decision to invade Ukraine.
Putin has never paid a visit to the front lines since the war began in late February, and Thursday’s carefully choreographed visit to a training camp near the Kremlin may have been an attempt to exert more control.
In a wooden slugfest with the new draftees shared on Russian state TV, Vlad asks, “How long have you been here?”
They reply that they have been there since October 7, a fortnight after Putin announced the partial mobilization of Russia.
He continues, “Feeling safe… are your skills returning?” – although it’s not clear if the men have previous military experience.
“Yes, sir,” replies a conscript named Ruslan.
Not only did the Russian boss possibly show off his nuclear suitcase, which resembled one he carried near Putin to an ally’s funeral in April, but he was also spotted by his under-fire defense minister, Sergei Shoigu.
The level of fear and disapproval is constantly increasing. Moscow has turned into a completely different city
Kremlin source speaking to Meduza
Shoigu is rumored to have faced calls for his resignation from the top of the Kremlin after Russia’s planned rapid “military special operation” failed to achieve any of its goals.
In an explosive video earlier this month, Putin supporter Kirill Stremousov, who has been appointed leader of Russian-held Kherson, urged Shoigu to kill himself after a sluggish Russian advance.
Shoigu was notably absent from a key defense meeting in the Kremlin on Wednesday, where Putin declared martial law in the Russian-held Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhia.
He is said to have been paused at the expense of the uncompromising new wartime commander, General Sergei Surovkin, nicknamed “General Armageddon”.
But the military chief’s sudden appearance alongside Vlad could be a sign he’s staying close to the seat of power.
The plainclothes man allegedly carrying Putin’s doctor’s bag was spotted at Vlad’s side back in 2011.
It comes as Putin’s “partial mobilization” of Russia has reportedly met with unprecedented opposition from his own people.
Opposition media outlet Meduza quoted Kremlin insiders this week about the “frustration” in Moscow that led to the draft being suspended early.
Putin originally hoped to increase the ranks of his army by around 300,000 men with the new recruits.
But the anti-Putin publication said public anger had grown after reports that men had been “ambushed” by cops and conscripts at subway stations before being pressured to go to their local recruiting office to go.
“Everyone was literally in hiding,” the news site quoted a Kremlin source as saying. “People are scared and unsure about their future. Many have gone.
“The level of fear and disapproval is constantly rising. Moscow has turned into a completely different city.
“These subway raids were a complete circus that had to be stopped.”
In response, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin made the unexpected announcement on Monday that the city had completed its “partial mobilization.”
He claimed the city had met its target of 16,000 new recruits, although there were no official targets given to the city by the Kremlin.
Support for the war in Russia is reportedly falling, the source continued, adding that the only ones still in favor are “the really old people” who are too old to be sent to the front lines anyway.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/6493168/vladimir-putin-fires-rifle-russia-war-ukraine/ Watch Putin fire rifle at training camp while aide ‘wears nuclear football’