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Seventy reasons why Putin will not be enjoying his 70th birthday

Russian President Vladimir Putin is celebrating his 70th birthday today, with several events planned for the head of state, including sports competitions and an informal meeting of heads of state of the CIS countries in St. Petersburg.

While the Russian leader marks a major milestone, the day is unlikely to be one full of celebration. 

This year, Putin’s birthday comes nearly eight months into the war he launched against Ukraine, and cracks are beginning to show within the Kremlin as Russia faces major setbacks amid counteroffensives launched by Kyiv.

Vladimir Putin's 70th Birthday

Vladimir Putin turns 70 today, with the Russian leader unlikely to be in the mood for celebrating the occasion.

Below, Newsweek has rounded up 70 reasons why Putin won’t be enjoying his birthday this year.

  1. Putin is not remotely close to winning the war in Ukraine.
  2. Ukraine has been making huge gains in its current Kherson counteroffensive.
  3. Russia has lost more than 60,000 troops in the war, according to Ukraine.
  4. A number of top military commanders, such as General Roman Kutuzov and Lieutenant General Yakov Rezantsev have also been killed.
  5. Last month, Alexei Nagin, a senior commander in Russia’s Wagner Group, was killed.
  6. Russia has lost 2,449 tanks…
  7. and 15 ships…
  8. and 266 aircraft.
  9. Putin has been forced to introduce a partial mobilization to make up the troop shortfall.
  10. Protests have broken out nationwide over the partial mobilization decree.
  11. At least 370,000 people have fled Russia to avoid being conscripted.
  12. That reportedly includes Mikhail Lazutin, a top propagandist for Putin.
  13. NATO is growing bigger with Finland and Sweden joining.
  14. This means that NATO could put nuclear weapons within 600 miles of Moscow.
  15. Russia’s economy has been crippled by sanctions.
  16. Europe does not appear as weakened by Russia cutting off gas as initially feared.
  17. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is poised to win the Nobel Peace Prize today.
  18. Last month, new car sales in Russia decreased by 59.6 percent compared to the same period last year, before the war.
  19. Cracks are beginning to show nearly eight months into the war.
  20. Russian state TV is now describing Putin’s so-called “special military operation” as a “war.”
  21. His top allies are also criticizing his military’s leadership.
  22. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov publicly criticized Russia’s top generals.
  23. Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin has praised Kadyrov for those remarks.
  24. Meanwhile, a Kremlin-installed leader of occupied Kherson suggested many are saying that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu could shoot himself.
  25. The official also said “incompetent military leaders” are to blame for the retreat troops in Kherson.
  26. He also said Russia’s defense ministry consists of “ministers, mediocre and corrupt generals and marauders.”
  27. Videos have emerged on social media that appear to show infighting among Russia’s elite.
  28. Journalists have suggested these videos have been staged by Prigozhin.
  29. There are reports a Wagner fighter shot a Russian army officer in the Donbas region.
  30. A Russian official has predicted the end of Putin’s reign.
  31. Russian troops are retreating in Kherson, a region Putin said is now “annexed” following sham referendums.
  32. Russia does not occupy in full all four regions Putin formally “annexed.”
  33. Putin is also losing the war in all four regions he “annexed.”
  34. The Kremlin said it doesn’t know where Russia’s “new Western border is.”
  35. The international community has decried Putin’s referendums as illegitimate.
  36. Russians outraged at the war continue to throw Molotov cocktails into military enlistment offices.
  37. Ukraine has already liberated 400 square kilometers of Kherson’s territory.
  38. Last month, Russia lost Lyman, a key eastern supply hub.
  39. In total, 34 HIMARS have been allocated to Ukraine by the U.S.
  40. Pro-Russian Telegram military bloggers are giving increasingly dire assessments of the war.
  41. Putin has been forced to admit that “mistakes” were made in his partial mobilization.
  42. Multiple reports have emerged of ineligible men being called up for military service.
  43. That includes students, the elderly and those with medical conditions and injuries.
  44. A regional governor said half of those recruited into the army had been sent home due to wrongful mobilization.
  45. Men are beginning to evade mobilization.
  46. Some have filed lawsuits to avoid being sent to Ukraine.
  47. Many Russians are breaking their limbs to avoid fighting for Putin.
  48. Despite it all, top defense officials say mobilization won’t help Putin win the war.
  49. Russia is likely facing “brain drain” and a labor shortage amid the max exodus, a think tank has assessed.
  50. Enthusiasm for the war appears to be dwindling as he bussed in “supporters” for a rally.
  51. The U.S. is expected to include four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) in its next security assistance package for Ukraine.
  52. A state-backed pollster said Russians are feeling increasingly anxious about the war.
  53. A key ally has said Putin shouldn’t be expecting any good news any time soon.
  54. A guest on Russian state TV said it will be two months before the war turns in Putin’s favor.
  55. More than 1,000 companies globally have disengaged to varying degrees from Russia.
  56. Many are engaging in a boycott of Russian goods and exports, after an appeal from the Ukrainian government.
  57. Ukraine gained 1,200 military vehicles and weapons units from Russia’s retreat.
  58. The national teams of Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to participate in the European women’s boxing championship.
  59. Protests are likely to be staged nationwide today. In 2018, protesters wished him “long years in prison” on his birthday.
  60. This year’s international tennis tournament Kremlin Cup 2022 has been canceled without explanation.
  61. A Kremlin source told Meduza that Putin’s reign may soon be coming to an end.
  62. Rumors about his health continue to swirl as an opposition website reported he has been visited at least 35 times by a cancer specialist in four years.
  63. U.S. military officers say Putin is left with only bad strategies for the Ukraine war.
  64. Putin has been publicly humiliated by Central Asian leaders and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  65. A special Ukraine envoy has said Putin’s arrest is possible ahead of a war crimes tribunal.
  66. Putin has resorted to issuing nuclear threats as he faces humiliating setbacks.
  67. Newly mobilized recruits complain of a lack of training, equipment, food, and poor conditions.
  68. Low morale is set to become an even bigger problem within Putin’s army as the war drags on.
  69. Multiple Russian-installed officials in Ukraine are being targeted and killed.
  70. The Kremlin is now telling some state media to acknowledge Putin’s war failings.
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the signing ceremony with separatist leaders on the annexation of four Ukrainian regions at the Grand Kremlin Palace, on September 30, in Moscow. As Putin turns 70, things are not going well for the Russian leader.
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