On Thursday, the Kremlin announced that there was unverified footage circulating, allegedly showing President Vladimir Putin receiving a warm welcome from his supporters. The Kremlin believes that this footage demonstrates the remarkable level of support the President enjoys, especially following his successful suppression of an armed insurrection.
Despite the Wagner mercenaries marching hundreds of kilometers and capturing military facilities in southern Russia, Moscow maintains that Putin’s long rule remains unscathed and unaffected, dismissing any notion of weakening.
Since the Covid pandemic, Putin has been adhering to strict isolation rules, which has resulted in him rarely being seen meeting ordinary Russians. Some of these restrictions are still in place.
On Wednesday, Moscow shared a video showing Putin’s arrival to a group of enthusiastic individuals, primarily women, in Derbent. Derbent is an ancient city located in the southern region of Dagestan, Russia.
On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov remarked that the local population in Derbent showcased an impressive display of support and joy.
According to him, Putin was unable to decline the opportunity to greet the crowd.
Amidst a group of well-dressed gentlemen and a cameraperson, the septuagenarian leader extended his hand across a barricade to greet individuals.
After removing his jacket, he bid farewell and sent an affectionate gesture to the audience, before entering a vehicle.
Since the mutiny of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Kremlin has refrained from mentioning him by name. However, they maintain that Putin has not suffered any weakening as a result of the rebellion.
On Thursday, Peskov stated that the available data indicates strong support for the president and the ongoing military operation, using the official term for the conflict in Ukraine as recognized by Moscow.
According to Putin, the mutineers failed to rally support during their rebellion.
Initially, Putin denounced the Wagner fighters who rebelled as traitors and promised severe consequences. However, once the mutiny was quelled, he permitted the fighters to return to their residences, enlist in the regular army, or seek refuge in Belarus.