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‘The regime is cracking’: Russian TV host blasts pro-nationalists for ignoring fact country depends on Western tech

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of Pobeda (Victory) organising committee via teleconference call at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on November 15, 2022. (Photo by Mikhail Metzel / Sputnik / AFP) (Photo by MIKHAIL METZEL/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
A host on Russian TV has dared to criticise Russian pro-nationalists debating Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. (Getty Images)

A debate on Russian television became heated when the host turned on pro-nationalists for not having an answer to the country's reliance on Western technology.

In a sign that Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine is losing support, the host hit back at some members on the panel, saying that their stance on nationalising industries was not credible.

Visibly angry, the host said: “You say, 'Let's nationalise, let's take everything from the Germans now' – our Sapsans [electric trains] will stop tomorrow. What are we going to ride on?

"There's nothing to drive on, we just have to accept that."

Despite Putin holding an iron grip on Russia, the host seemingly felt brave enough to criticise the regime, adding: "Of course, it's easy to stand on an armoured car saying, 'Let's nationalise everything.'

The host angrily bit back at Russian pro-nationalists. (Twitter)
The host angrily bit back at Russian pro-nationalists. (Twitter)

"And what will we drive? What will we use to make phone calls? What are we going to do?...

"But that won't make a new Sapsan appear nowm the plane won't appear, we don't have a long-haul airplane.

"Yes, everything we have is Western. We can nationalise everything no and what are we going to do the next day?"

Watch: Russia's war in Ukraine is barbaric and illegal, says Rishi Sunak

Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Russia, said the clip was a sign that "the regime is cracking".

He tweeted: "That this can be said on national television is a good sign.

"The regime is cracking. The elite is panicking."

Support from loyal supporters in Putin’s regime may slip further in the coming weeks following Russia’s retreat from the key Ukrainian city of Kherson last week.

Moscow said its troops finished withdrawing from the western bank at 5am local time on 11 November, paving the way for Ukrainians to cautiously move towards reclaiming the territory.

Videos and pictures posted on social media later showed residents celebrating in the streets, with the Ukrainian flag flying over a central Kherson square.

The sight of Ukrainians re-entering the city following Russia’s withdrawal will bring "significant reputational damage", according to the Ministry of Defence.

A Kherson resident hugs a Ukrainian defence force member in Kherson, southern Ukraine, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. The retaking of Kherson was one of Ukraine's biggest successes in the nearly nine months since Moscow's invasion. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
A Kherson resident hugs a Ukrainian defence force member in Kherson, southern Ukraine, following Russia's retreat. (AP)

Meanwhile, an adviser to the Ukrainian defence minister has said there is "panic" in Russian ranks, but cautioned the war is "far from over".

Putin's humiliating withdrawal from Kherson is expected to be presented by the Kremlin as a humanitarian evacuation rather than a military retreat.

But one Western official told the PA news agency that the move would result in "another uptick in pointed criticism of Russian national leadership".

The assessment comes as one former Putin ally '– the head of the notorious Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin – stepped up his criticism of the Russian leader.

In a statement earlier this week he pointedly praised Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, who is routinely denounced by Moscow as a neo-Nazi drug addict, as a "strong and confident leader".