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Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer Says Putin Believes He Is 'Winning The War'

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer Says Putin Believes He Is 'Winning The War'

The Austrian Chancellor is the first Euro leader to meet Putin since the invasion of Ukraine, and claims he is stuck "in his own war logic."

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has claimed that Vladimir Putin is trapped 'in his own war logic' and has convinced himself that Russia is winning the war in Ukraine.

Nehammer became the first European leader to meet with the Russian president on Monday following the invasion of Ukraine, and in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd about the meeting he claimed that his conversation with Putin was 'not friendly' but 'frank and tough'.

“I think he is now in his own war logic, you know? He thinks the war is necessary for security guarantees for the Russian Federation,” Nehammer said.

“He doesn’t trust the international community. He blames Ukrainians for genocides in the Donbas region,” he added.

The Austrian leader recently visited the devastated Ukrainian city of Bucha – the site of alleged war crimes – to see for himself the scale of destruction wrought by the Russian forces stationed there. He told Todd that he discussed the carnage with Putin.

“I made the trip to Moscow to confront President Putin with that which I saw,” he told Todd. “You know, it was not a friendly conversation. It was a frank and tough conversation. And I told him what I saw. I saw the war crimes. I saw the massive loss of the Russian army.”

Yet despite the scale of Russian losses since the start of the conflict being well-documented, when asked by Todd about what Putin’s thoughts were on Russia’s ongoing offensive, Nehammer responded that Putin appears to genuinely believe that his side is winning the war and was dismissive of the atrocities being carried out in Ukraine, including ongoing accusations of war crimes being committed against civilians.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer (

"I made it clear to Mr. Putin, his attitude, his view is not shared by anybody," Nehammer said during a press briefing in Moscow. "He sees it as a kind of self-defence operation of the Russian federation. He calls it special military operations. I call it the war.

Austria’s chancellor said it is imperative the world continues to confront Putin about what he and his forces are doing.

“I think this is necessary," Nehammer explained. "You know, at the end of our talks, he told me in German it’s better the war ends earlier than later.

"So I think he knows exactly what’s going on now. And we have to confront him.

"In other words, we have to look in his eyes and we have to confront him with what we see in Ukraine.”

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, World News, Russia