Saturday, October 15, 2022

Acquaintances of Those Russians Killed in Ukraine More Likely to Protest than Their Close Relatives, Gallyamov Says

 Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 10 – Most analysts assume that if deaths among Russian combatants in Ukraine increase and information about that becomes available to the Russian population, then the amount of protest activity against Putin’s war will increase. But Abbas Gallyamov points to an interesting twist in this pattern that few have taken note of.

            According to the former Putin speechwriter and current commentator, “the closest relatives of those who will be mobilized and killed will be less likely to join the camp of the critics of the war” because “it will be too painful for them to admit that the death of their loved ones was meaningless” (

            “Only the strongest of these will condemn the war,” Gallyamov says, “those who do not need illusions to live on; but these are likely to be relatively few.” Any expansion in protest is likely to come not from them but from the friends, acquaintances, classmates, and coworkers of those who die.

            Such people, Gallyamov continues, “will easily recognize these deaths as meaningless – especially since they will also fear that they may soon take the place of those killed because if the war continues, the chances of such an outcome will constantly grow.” And so it will be from among them that the ranks of those demanding an end to the war will grow.

            Both those who hope for an end to the war and those who want to ensure that it continues must keep in mind that this group of people is far larger than the group consisting of the close relatives of the dead. After all, everyone has more friends and acquaintances than relatives, he concludes.

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