This is one of the most important questions about Russia’s attack on Ukraine: where is Russian society in all this? Is anyone loudly demanding its end? Such public demonstrations are extremely rare, but they do take place. However, their participants focus more on the fate of Russian soldiers than Ukrainian victims.
Russian soldiers storming Bakhmut, bravely pushing Ukrainians from their positions – this is the image of this war presented by the Kremlin state media. – We are simply better trained than them – says a Russian military officer.
A little further from the front, deep in Russia, other emotions are slowly beginning to arise around the invasion of Ukraine. – We want our husbands and sons to return home – says one of the women, and her appeal is one of many. This is a brave gesture in a country where any critical voice is severely punished.
The mass mobilization of the army that took place in September was strongly contested from the beginning. Tens of thousands of Russians then decided to flee the country. Many of those who were drafted then are still in Ukraine – for example, Alexander of Voronezh. He has been fighting for almost a year and – as he says – he has had enough.
– We are very tired. Our backs and knees hurt. We don’t care about money anymore. We just want to go back to our homes – he says in a video shared on social media.
Consequences of the lack of American aid for Ukraine
After the US Congress blocked another aid package for Ukraine, Moscow felt that this might be a chance for them. President Vladimir Putin, who has virtually no rival in the upcoming elections, felt confident again. – We must now forget about what divides us. Russia will remain sovereign or it will not be sovereign at all, argues the Russian leader.
Putin’s supporters, especially the most ardent ones, and there are many of them, do not hide their enthusiasm. However, the mood is not so great everywhere. “Give me my husband back,” says one of the inscriptions on the Christmas tree decoration. Another difficult year in Russia is slowly coming to an end. The war continues.
Main photo source: CNN