Xi Jinping is accused of BETRAYING Putin on Russian state TV: Chinese leader’s phone call with Zelensky sparks outrage, with propagandist asking ‘Are we friends or what?!’
- Russian propagandist accuses Xi of undermining the Kremlin with Zelensky call
- Now asks what Xi was doing ‘interrupting Putin’s work’ during a visit last month
Vladimir Putin has been betrayed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, according to the Russian dictator’s closest popular supporters.
Xi’s telephone talks and engagement with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in recent days have outraged Putin’s biggest cheerleaders.
Last week, Xi called Zelensky for the first time since the Russian invasion for an hourlong call that the Ukrainian president described as ‘long and meaningful’.
Zelensky has since named an ambassador to Beijing, and China will send the envoy for European affairs to Kyiv.
But the move has rattled spectators in Russia. War analyst Sergei Mardan said on SolovyevLive that Xi’s visit to Moscow last month had undermined the Kremlin.
‘What are we supposed to think?’ he said. ‘Are we friends or what?!’
Mardan (pictured) is a military analyst for pro-Kremlin Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper
On SolovyevLive he criticised Xi’s call with Zelensky to apparently find a diplomatic solution
Mardan said on his show ‘[we had] joy and confidence in believing that Xi Jinping saw Zelensky as a puppet, definitely will not call him…’
Putin has been betrayed by Xi Jinping, says pro-Putin war analyst Sergei Mardan (pictured)
‘And then boom – this,’ he told viewers.
China has supported Russia by buying its energy, when to its advantage, in spite of western sanctions throughout the war.
Exporting to large buyers like China has also helped soften Russia’s recession, with fiscal revenues increasing overall.
Exports from Russia to China increased 43% year-on-year in 2022.
But China has avoided directly sending munitions to Russia – much to the ire of onlookers backing Putin’s campaign.
In recent months China has pushed to lead negotiations between Ukraine and Russia to de-escalate the violence that has claimed the lives of more than 350,000.
Russia has not openly opposed this.
In February, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the proposals should be ‘analysed in detail’, though Russia did not see a way out of the war just yet.
But the call between Xi and Zelensky was a bridge too far for Putin supporters.
‘How do we take this call? Why did he call our enemy?
‘Comrade Xi Jinping, why did you come to Moscow? And spend three days here, interrupting Putin’s work?
‘So as a result of his three-day stay in Moscow, he goes back to his Beijing, spends a week talking to his advisors – and then decides to call Zelensky.
The slap down for Xi comes as Putin’s supporters also feel aggrieved that their close Chinese ally has not sent advanced weapons and drones to help Russia’s beleaguered war effort.
As early as March last year, US officials reported that Russia was seeking military equipment to help bolster its sluggish invasion of Ukraine.
China denied the claim that Russia had asked for equipment after running out of weapons during its initial invasion.
The SolovyevLive channel is led by Vladimir Solovyov, Putin’s favourite state TV propagandist.
Mardan is a military analyst for pro-Kremlin Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.
Putin takes part in a videoconference call in St Petersburg on 2 May 2023
President Zelensky (left) and Xi Jinping (right) spoke for the first time since the war last week
The nearly one-hour discussion between the two leaders, which reportedly included Xi advocating for peace negotiations, was met by Russian accusations that Ukraine was undermining efforts to end the fighting.
Zelensky said previously he would be open to talks with his Xi.
The telephone call ‘was initiated by the Ukrainian side’, Yu Jun from China’s foreign ministry told a press conference.
‘On the issue of the Ukraine crisis, China has always stood on the side of peace and its core position is to promote peace talks,’ CCTV reported Xi as saying.