Vladimir Putin is worried that several of his aides and senior political supporters have begun drinking excessively since his invasion of Ukraine, according to a new report.
Putin is especially troubled by heavy drinking among ‘certain people from his inner circle’, Russian independent media outlet Meduza claimed, as Kremlin elites reach for the bottle in futile attempts to calm their nerves.
‘People have been relieving their stress this way since February,’ a source from inside the Kremlin said.
‘Ministers, their subordinates, and even some deputy prime ministers, presidential administration and Security Council members, state corporation heads, and governors [have begun to drink more].’
Senior officials are taking to the bottle to deaden the angst to such an extent that there has been a collapse in discipline, with some slurring their words in public and turning up late to important events, it is alleged.
Putin let his anger over the boozing be known by lecturing two unsuspecting regional governors on the need to tackle alcoholism
Meduza explained: ‘The main reason for the stress is the domestic damage caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the sanctions that followed — and that Putin believes the bureaucrats should have an easier time coping.’
Putin did not inform many senior officials of his intention to mount a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.
Many rightly thought the strategy was mad, it appears.
They spent the subsequent months in ‘shock and confusion’.
‘They took to the bottle [in February] and some of them don’t want to stop,’ said one source.
‘Discipline has started to suffer… Some [officials] have missed important events.
‘Others have slurred their words and said things that don’t make sense in official settings.
‘The general public has already started to notice.’
Putin has not yet fired any henchmen for turning to the bottle, but this is not ruled out, said the revealing report.
Alexander Avdeyev, governor of Vladimir region, was told in a video link lecture by Putin that he should act on the area’s ‘growing struggle with alcoholism’
For now the warmonger will continue to ‘hint’ that he wants the offenders’ behaviour to change rather than firing them.
But he let his anger over the boozing be known by lecturing two unsuspecting regional governors on the need to tackle alcoholism in their regions.
Neither governor believed that alcoholism was rampant in their constituencies, but it was Putin’s way of signalling the issue to his subordinates.
Alexander Avdeyev, governor of Vladimir region, was told in a video link lecture by Putin that he should act on the area’s ‘growing struggle with alcoholism’.
‘You can’t ban anything, you can’t just raise prices excessively, [and you can’t just impose] excise taxes,’ instructed Putin.
Instead there should be ‘healthy lifestyle propaganda’ aimed especially at men.
The bemused regional official was ordered to ‘develop infrastructure for people to exercise and give cultural institutions the attention they deserve’.
Acting governor of Kirov region Alexander Sokolov was one of two regional governors to receive a dressing down from Putin over ‘alcoholism’ in their respective constituencies
Kirov region Alexander Sokolov was the recipient of a similar edict from Putin, who is known to consume minimal alcohol.
Sokolov was warned of the ‘high level of alcoholisation of the population’ in his region.
‘It’s not the time to sweep things under the rug or try to whitewash anything — it’s time to deal with our most pressing problems,’ Putin told Sokolov.
‘I urge you to devote some attention to this.’
Both governors were reportedly ‘puzzled’ that Putin had raised the problem.
Two Kremlin sources told Meduza there were other reasons for the heavy drinking in Putin’s entourage apart from Russian military failures in Ukraine.
‘They have their own war, their own [personal] problems,’ said one.
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