Staunton, Aug. 7 – That Putin’s war in Ukraine has affected Ukrainians psychologically is no surprise, but less attention has been given to the impact it has had on the mental state of Russians, especially given all the efforts of the Putin regime to play down the significance of the conflict.
But psychologists with whom The Insider portal has spoken say, that over the months since Putin launched his expanded invasion of Ukraine, those Russians turning to them for help have evolved from a sense of horror and even suicidal thought to apathy, with the intermediate steps involving fears of mobilization (https://theins.ru/obshestvo/262735).
A major problem for psychologists and psychiatrists in Russia is that they often feel just as much affected by the war as do their patients and are forced to decide how to deal with that fact. Some are pro-war, but many are not; and deciding whether to share their views has become a major professional problem.
The psychological impact of the war was greatest at the very beginning, then ebbed, then rose again in September when the partial mobilization was announced and then again but very briefly with the Prigozhin mutiny, psychologists and psychiatrists say. In between, Russians have tried to adapt.
But the professionals warn that the war is going to having long-term effects much like those which adults who saw something horrific when they were children and somehow managed to survive. Some of them will completely forget these events only to have them come back to haunt them many years later. So it will be with Russians long after the Ukrainian war.