Friday, June 30, 2023

If Regions Want Moscow to Meet Their Demands, They Must Back Them Up with Force, Russians Conclude Putin has Told the Country

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 29 – Ingushetia’s Council of Teips has asked that the authorities release the Ingush Seven defendants, but in the view of many Russians, Putin’s behavior in the Prigozhin case shows that Moscow won’t do that unless the Ingush organize a military force and launch a revolt. “Then, we’ll talk,” Russians say the Kremlin leader has effectively told the regions.

            That is just one of the anecdotes Russians are telling each other that tell much about how they really understand the reality around them. These are regularly collected by Moscow journalist Tatyana Pushkaryova. Among the best of the rest in her latest collection ( are the following:

·       Anyone calling for respecting laws and each other, ending obscurantism, leaving Russia’s neighbors alone and stopping lying and stealing is by definitive a Russophobe who wants to suppress Russia’s national uniqueness.

·       Putin didn’t take Kyiv in three days last year but he has managed not to surrender Moscow this one.

·       Will Navalny try to use Prigozhin’s defense and ask to be released from criminal responsibility if he emigrates?

·       Russia is truly a special country: it provides state funding to PMCs which its laws say are illegal; and then the president brags about this.

·       Seventy-three percent of Russians say the country is now moving in the right direction while only 16 percent say it is on the wrong path. Never before has the suicide rate in Russia been so high.

·       Every sixth Russian says that a nuclear strike on Ukraine would be acceptable. This isn’t an anecdote: this is an indictment of the entire society.

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