Monday, June 20, 2022

Kremlin Views ‘Illusion of Normalcy’ as Its ‘Very Important Ally,’ Vlasov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 2 – Many Russians prefer to ignore what is going on in Ukraine and even in their own country and to think and act as if nothing really has changed over the last several years, Nikolay Vlasov says. And while maintaining this “illusion of normalcy” is ever more difficult for both regime and people, for the present, it is “a very important ally” of the regime.

            “If I don’t want to know anything about what is going on and instead prefer to give the impression that nothing is, then I won’t take any serious efforts” to respond or let alone try to change things, the St. Petersburg historian says; and that works for the regime (

            All that is needed to maintain that pose, Vlasov continues, is to avoid watching television or visiting news sites online. And if one maintains that news “diet,” “then daily life is not so strongly distinguished from what which it was let us say three years ago.” All around most people are going about their business and living their lives just as they did then.

            Those at the top of the Russian political system understand that well, he suggests; and as a result, “they are seeking to maintain a balance between efforts at mobilization of part of society and ‘the soft demobilization’ of another and extremely significant part.” This is not an easy task and is becoming more and more challenging.

            Ever more people are asking what is going on, and that will have consequences; but precisely what they will be remains to be seen.

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