Russia's Human Rights Council was warned not to make Putin mad with questions about the war in Ukraine

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  • Russia's Human Rights Council was told not to upset Putin with questions about Ukraine.

  • The council met with Putin for their annual meeting on Wednesday.

  • The chair of the council was told not to address the "toxic" issue of Russia's death toll.

The presidential Human Rights Council in Russia was told "not to upset" Russian President Vladimir Putin with questions about the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the Moscow Times reported, citing the investigative news website Vyorstka. Putin and the council held their annual meeting on Wednesday.

Members of the presidential administration gave the chair of the council, Valery Fadeyev, a set of approved topics ahead of the meeting, the report said. Subjects not to be touched on included the law criminalizing spreading "fake news" about the military, protests against Putin's partial mobilization, and the "toxic" matter of the Russian military's death toll in Ukraine, among other issues related to the war. The war in Ukraine has gone poorly for Russia, which is estimated to have suffered approximately 100,000 casualties since Putin launched the invasion in late February.

Putin in November booted a number of members from the council, including xenophobia researcher Alexander Verkhovsky and anti-torture campaigner Igor Kalyapin. Meanwhile, he added supporters of the war to the body, including Alexander Kots, a war correspondent for Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda who was sanctioned by the UK.

At the meeting, Putin said the war in Ukraine could be a "long process" and denied plans for a second mobilization.

"As for the duration of the special military operation, well, of course, this can be a long process," Putin said, per Reuters.

The Russian leader, who has made repeated nuclear threats since launching the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, also said that he had no plans to use weapons of mass destruction.

"We haven't gone mad, we realise what nuclear weapons are," Putin said. "We have these means in more advanced and modern form than any other nuclear country."

"But we aren't about to run around the world brandishing this weapon like a razor," Putin added.

But Putin also underscored that Russia would "defend ourselves with all the means at our disposal."

Read the original article on Business Insider