Staunton, Dec. 29 – Putin’s war in Ukraine has divided Russian nationalists just as it has split all other groups in Russian society, Vera Alperovich says, with those who oppose the war becoming increasingly silent while those who back it have become ever more active but increasingly unhappy that their support has not won the entry to power they had hoped for.
Some of the latter have continued to work to recruit volunteers to fight in Ukraine or even gone there themselves, the SOVA analyst says. That allowed them to gain an expanded media audience in Russia, but this by itself has not improved their access to the halls of power or in elections (sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/publications/2022/12/d47447/).
There are at least two reasons for this, Alperovich says. On the one hand, the nationalists have failed to set themselves apart from the powers and thus haven’t gotten support as being independent of them. And on the other, the powers don’t want any demonstrations even of support that the authorities themselves do not entirely control.