Friday, April 29, 2022

To Limit Protests to Putin’s War in Ukraine Kremlin Plays on Intelligentsia’s Distrust of the People, Kurilla Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 18 – The Kremlin, in order to keep the intelligentsia from assuming a leading role in organizing protests against Putin’s war in Ukraine, is promoting an image of Russian society that plays on the longstanding distrust and fear some in the intelligentsia have of the population at large, Ivan Kurilla says.

            By promoting the idea that the Russian people not only support Putin’s war but favor an even more radical form of its prosecution, the European University analyst says, Moscow has reinforced the view of the intelligentsia that as bad as the current regime is, the people may be even worse (

            As a result, during the war in Ukraine, the intelligentsia has been effectively gelded and chosen not to take the lead in organizing protests against the regime, precisely the role it should be playing and one that it could play with success if its members recognized that the image the Kremlin is promoting of “the people” is a myth designed only to serve the powers.

            What the intelligentsia should be doing, Kurilla argues, is first to challenge the image of the Russian population that the Kremlin is presenting with its controlled polls and media commentaries and then move to organize the population against the current powers that be against the war and the regime’s other policies.

            But up to now, the Kremlin has won this battle even though it is losing the war on the ground because it has managed to convince all too many of the intelligentsia that they are better off with the current regime than they would be with one more fully reflecting the views of the people and that allying with the population would thus be a major mistake.

            The fears of the intelligentsia about the so-called “dark people” have deep roots which extend back to the time of the formation of the intelligentsia itself. But what is new is the way in which the Putin regime is using those fears to protect itself against challenges that the intelligentsia and the population should be mounting.

            Indeed, Kurilla suggests, this may be one of the biggest victories Putin propagandists have ever won, even though it is a triumph that few are yet talking about. 


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