Staunton, Feb. 15 – When Putin launched his expanded invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, most Russians expected the war to be over quite quickly with either a Russian victory or a Russian defeat. Now, however, a year on, ever more of them are getting used to living in wartime, something that carries enormous risks, Tamara Eidelman says.
In discussing this change, the Russian commentator focuses on a distant mirror, Russia during the first world war. When it began in August 1914, most people expected the soldiers to be home for Christmas. But that holiday came and went and people recognized that they would be at war for a long time (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=63E76F7D3DEE7).
Then and now, Eidelman continues, people got used to war, both those being bombed, those doing the bombing and those watching from the sidelines. People adapted themselves to what they saw as the new reality and went on with their lives as best they could or can, a tactic that only helped those who want the war to go on achieve their goal.
But at some point, wars end. World War I did so in 1918, and Putin’s war in Ukraine will at some point as well. Everyone must recognize that “you can’t get used to war” or assume it is forever. Instead, it is “like a cancer that only grows without treatment, metastisizes to all parts of the body and kills.”
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