Vladimir Putin faces MUTINY as Russians join revolt over Ukraine deaths

Putin is facing mounting pressure from Russians to reveal further details on a New Year's Eve artillery attack.
Putin is facing mounting pressure from Russians to reveal further details on a New Year's Eve artillery attack.

The move represents a rare show of defiance in a country that often sees protests hindered by Russian authorities

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Vladimir Putin faces mounting pressure as thousands of people sign a petition demanding a full list of the soldiers killed in the New Year’s Eve artillery attack on a battalion of mobilised men from Samara.

The move represents a rare show of defiance in a country that often sees protests hindered by Russian authorities.

The online petition, signed by 42,500 people, says those in power “cannot” be trusted.

“We are against dehumanisation and normalisation of death”, they said in a message.

Up to 400 Russian soldiers were killed when shells hit a school in the town of Makiiva, near Donetsk city in occupied-Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials.

The Russian ministry of defence, however, has claimed 89 men died in the attack, but the concession represents a change of tack for a body that often holds its cards close to its chest.

Despite the admission, relatives of the dead men have hit out at the Kremlin, accusing them of withholding information.

Samara newspaper editor Sergei Postynik, who now publishes from Tbilisi after fleeing from Russia, said people were desperate.

He told the Sunday Telegraph: “People are in shock. They are afraid to find out that it was their son, brother, grandson who has been killed.”

People are 'in shock' at the deaths, according to a newspaper editor.
People are 'in shock' at the deaths, according to a newspaper editor.

Russian officers have also been levelled with accusations of incompetence, with survivors saying that their commanders billeted them next to an ammunition depot before leaving for a New Year’s party.

Throughout the week in central Samara, thousands of people have queued to pay their respects for the dead men at a military memorial.

In public shows of fury, some women vented their frustrations by delivering speeches and committing to revenge.

It comes after Foreign Secretary James Cleverly hit out at Russia’s call for a temporary ceasefire, saying Putin should permanently withdraw its forces and relinquish territory it has taken from Ukraine.

He said: “A 36 hour pause of Russian attacks will do nothing to advance the prospects for peace. Russia must permanently withdraw its forces, relinquish its illegal control of Ukrainian territory and end its barbaric attacks against innocent civilians.”

Ukraine’s foreign affairs minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “President (Volodymyr) Zelensky has proposed a clear peace formula of 10 steps.

“Russia has been ignoring it and instead shelling Kherson on Christmas Eve, launching mass missile and drone strikes on new year. Their current ‘unilateral ceasefire’ cannot and should not be taken seriously.”

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted that Russian forces “must leave the occupied territories – only then will it have a ‘temporary truce.’ Keep hypocrisy to yourself”.

The head of Ukraine’s National Security Council, Oleksiy Danilov, told Ukrainian TV: “We will not negotiate any truces with them.”