Putin propagandists start to panic -- and some call for him to end 'special military operation': report
Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks at a Security Council meeting at the Kremlin, on March 28, 2014 [AFP]

Russian President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine is not getting the uniform backing on state media networks that greeted the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

The Daily Beast's Julia Davis reports that the crippling economic sanctions are causing some second thoughts even among television personalities who normally give the government their full backing.

Davis reports that state TV pundit Karen Shakhnazarov, for instance, called out the miscalculations that the Russian government made when it decided to pull the trigger on invading its neighboring country.

"I don’t see the probability of denazification of such an enormous country," said Shakhnazarov. "We would need to bring in 1.5 million soldiers to control all of it. At the same time, I don’t see any political power that would consolidate the Ukrainian society in a pro-Russian direction... Those who talked of their mass attraction to Russia obviously didn’t see things the way they are."

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In fact, the pundit even went so far as to call for an end to the "special military operation" in Ukraine.

"The most important thing in this scenario is to stop our military action," he said. "Others will say that sanctions will remain. Yes, they will remain, but in my opinion discontinuing the active phase of a military operation is very important."

Semyon Bagdasarov, a Russian Middle East expert, shared Shakhnazarov's gloomy assessment, writes Davis.

"Do we need to get into another Afghanistan, but even worse?" he asked. "There are more people and they’re more advanced in their handling of weapons. We don’t need that. Enough already... As for the sanctions, the world has never seen such massive sanctions."

Read the full report here.

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