Vladimir Putin meets with UN Secretary-General Guterres
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The war in Ukraine continues to rage on, with Russia having stepped up its attempts to encircle defending forces in the east of the country. Meanwhile, a fresh wave of civilian deaths have been reported, with Ukraine accusing the Russian military of shelling a humanitarian corridor out of the besieged city of Mariupol. Petro Andryushchenko, an advisor to Mariupol’s mayor, said the latest attempt to get civilians and Ukrainian forces out of the city had failed.
Mr Andryushchenko claimed that the agreed humanitarian corridor out of the Azovstal steel works had proven a “trap” and that Russian forces fired their artillery on the exit zone just moments after announcing a green corridor had been opened.
Last week, Putin ordered his Russian troops to seal off the steel mill, where there are thought to be 1000 Ukrainian soldiers and their families, so that “not even a fly comes through”.
Putin has been widely condemned by western leaders since launching his brutal invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and during that time has even been accused of a host of war crimes.
The Russian President, who initially beleived Russia could take Kyiv in three days, has seen his invasion met with fierce Ukrainian resistance while heavy sanctions have been imposed on Russia by the West.
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Putin, who is often depicted as a cold and calculated leader, was allegedly prone to angry outbursts when Russia was met with a string of issues during the early stages of the invasion.
Former US national intelligence director General James Clapper told Business Insider at the time: “He was always hard, cold, disciplined, almost machine-like.
“Now his anger, fury show. His meandering incoherent rants are illogical and scary.
“He has no one to push back and disagree with him.”
Putin is notoriously a black belt in judo, and training for the sport is said to have helped him control his emotions.
However, Paul Starobin, the author of ‘After America: Narratives for the Next Global Age’, writing in the Atlantic in 2005, said: “His angry outbursts can be not only crude but breathtakingly acerbic.
“At a press conference in Brussels in November 2002 a reporter from Le Monde asked him about the use of anti-personnel landmines in Chechnya.
“When that drew an angry retort from Putin the reported followed up with an even more pointed question: ‘Don’t you think that in trying to eradicate terrorism you going to eradicate the civilian population in Chechnya?’”
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Putin allegedly replied: “‘If you want to become an Islamic radical and have circumcision, I invite you to Moscow, because we are a multi-talented country and have specialists there.
“I recommend that you have the operation done in such a way that nothing else will grow there.”
Mr Starobin suggested that Putin may have taken the question personally at the time as Chechen insurgents had posted a $20 million (£15.87 million) bounty on the Russian President’s head and were likely trying to kidnap his daughters.
Moreover Putin admitted he “suffered immensely” during the Beslan school siege in 2004, when Chechen terrorists imprisoned more than 1,100 hostages in a school.
Ultimately 333 people died, including 186 children as well as 31 of the attackers.
Chechen terrorist Shamil Basayev claimed at the time Putin “screamed like a stuck pig”.
As the Ukraine war continues Putin has appeared to have become increasingly belligerent and his pointed outbursts have become more common .
Last month, with the invasion of Ukraine floundering and his economy teetering, Putin directed his attention on Russians who were against the invasion or sympathised with the West.
He said: “The Russian people will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and will simply spit them out like an insect in their mouth onto the pavement.”
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