Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Russians Now Taking Putin’s War in Ukraine in Stride and Will Unless Something Touching Them Directly Occurs, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 27 – A new Public Opinion Foundation poll shows that 51 percent of Russians are calm in their assessment of developments in Russia while 43 percent remain concerned, but that latter figure is the lowest since early September 2022 – and this suggests Russians are now taking the war in stride, the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say.

            Often Russians like other people react immediately and strongly to developments in the news if these developments directly affect them; but if they don’t, the editors say in a lead article, many are inclined to treat these things as background noise, accept positive or at least neutral evaluations of them, and remain calm (ng.ru/editorial/2023-04-24/2_8714_red.html).

            A year or even six months ago, they continue, it would have been difficult to imagine that Russians would not be reacting with concern about the war in Ukraine. “But it appears that the special operation is gradually turning into a rather disturbing but background feature of most people – unless there are developments like partial mobilization that affect every family.”

            These poll results reflect two things, Nezavisimaya gazeta says. On the one hand, this is a common form of “psychological self-defense” against developments that one can do little about. And on the other, it reflects the fact that those being polled include only those who have remained in Russia and not those who have left in protest.

            But more important, it means this: as long as the Kremlin doesn’t take any steps that will affect the Russian population personally, it is likely to be able to continue its “special military operation” in Ukraine will little fear that the population is becoming more worried about the war and will protest against it.

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