Sergei Naryshkin is head of Russian foreign intelligence (SVR). Which means he receives all the bad news before anyone else, including the President. So he had more insight from the assessments he received into the likely blowback from waging war against Ukraine. Whether he was even consulted beforehand is an open question. Ashen faced and hesitant, he appeared in a video, linked on the SVR website, that does not exactly enhance his image.
Some of the unforgiving comments he received among the more complimentary include Tatyana Kopnina’s: “He spoke hesitantly because he did not believe what he was saying.” One suggests he has now lost his property overseas and that it explains his defeated look. Another writes: “How can you call a war an operation? And what do you call the extermination of Ukrainians? How cynical this is!” “I don’t believe him”, one more suggests; “why does he have fear in his eyes?” You might if you were talking to Putin, responds another.
Россия 24, 28 Февраля