Saturday, November 25, 2023

Given Rising Repression, Residents Protest Putin’s War in Ukraine in Ever Quieter Ways

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 24 – The Kremlin’s repressive measures have prevented any mass protests against the war in Ukraine and even made individuals increasingly cautious about expressing their views if they are at odds with the regime. But Russians are finding quieter and therefore still safer ways to express their opposition the Putin’s “special military operation.”

            The Sibreal portal notes that such “silent protest with the help of various symbolic actions and gestures is in today’s Russia often the only possible format that anti-war resistance can take” and says that “an anonymous picket of plastic dolls, green ribbons, the flag of Ukraine, and graffiti” are the means Russians are now using (

            These seldom get the attention that mass protests would and the absence of the latter leads many in Russia and the West to assume that the vast majority are enthusiastic backers of the Putin program. But these more restrained expressions of opposition call suggests that such conclusions are not true.

            Sibreal reports on a woman in Novosibirsk who has kept putting up a Ukrainian flag on her balcony, Omsk activists who document the anti-war broadsides and graffiti that have appeared in that city, and similar activities by anti-war Russians in Irkutsk, as well as the appearance of dolls as a means of protest in St. Petersburg.

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