Staunton, June 27 – Many argue that Russians are suffering because they do not have a positive vision of the future or believe they can affect it, but Dmitry Mikhaylichenko says this lack is playing a key role in helping them survive current problems, including not only the pandemic but the hardships related to Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Russians were far more anxious about the pandemic than they are about the war in Ukraine, the Moscow political analyst says, because the former was far more immediate and how people behaved affected outcomes (newizv.ru/comment/dmitriy-mihaylichenko/28-06-2022/glavnoe-vyzhit-rossiyane-otneslis-k-spetsoperatsii-namnogo-spokoynee-chem-k-pandemii).
But with regard to the war in Ukraine, Mikhaylichenko says, “the vast majority of the citizenry behave as if nothing is happening” or at least that “what is happening is none of their concern” and something they cannot possibly have an impact on. Consequently, they don’t think about it because they don’t see the connection between the war and their own present or future.
Such attitudes, the analyst says, “allow the majority of society not to feel constant anxiety and to concentrate instead on addressing immediate personal problems.” This is the product not of a lack of empathy or the atomization of society but rather the absence of any preparedness for long-term planning.
Most Russians, including the so-called “deep people,” do not think long term and do not connect the dots between Kremlin policies about things like war abroad and their own personal well-being, Mikhaylichenko says. Instead, they remain passive because “if everything is predetermined by others, then nothing needs to be done” by any individual.
Of course, eventually, someone will have to take action if Russia is to escape from its current problems. But this absence of a vision of the future and of the idea that the future depends on the actions of individuals or society means that for the time being, the population isn’t going to oppose the regime. Rather, it is going to let the regime act on its own.