Vladimir Putin has been filmed “chewing his lip and grimacing in his chair” as the Russian invasion in Ukraine continues to falter. Observers claimed that the panic-struck president was evidently feeling the pressure in the latest Kremlin-approved video of the leader. This comes as Ukrainian troops have repelled numerous Russian assaults along the front line in the eastern Donbas region, according to the latest assessment by the UK’s Ministry of Defence.
Video released showed the Russian President attending an Orthodox Easter service this morning, which provided “some clues as to his current mindset”.
He is seen celebrating Easter alongside the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral while holding a lit red candle.
The Russian leader crossed himself several times during the service which was held by Patriarch Kirill, who has strongly backed the war in Ukraine.
BBC Russian investigative reporter Andrey Zakharov tweeted the video, which showed President Putin repeatedly biting his lip in apparent agitation.
Mr Zakharov tweeted: “What is that weird lip biting at the end of the video?”
Bloomberg’s Scott Rose pointed out that President Putin was seen “grimacing in his chair” and “chewing his lip” in official videos released this week.
Mr Rose tweeted: “Virtually everything we see of Putin these days is from his personal photographers or state media.
“These are their best takes: grimacing in his chair, chewing his lip.”
During the meeting, the Russian president discussed the “liberation” of the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.
Many observers pointed out that President Putin attended the church service on the same day that his forces dropped a bomb on civilians in Odesa, killing a three-month-old baby girl.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky used his Orthodox Easter message on Sunday to vow that no “wickedness” will destroy the country.
Speaking from the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, President Zelensky prayed that God returns happiness to children and brings solace to grieving mothers.
He said that the 1,000-year-old cathedral had withstood the Nazi occupation of his country during World War Two.