Friday, December 15, 2023

Five Signs Russians Aren’t as Enthusiastic about War in Ukraine as Kremlin-Orchestrated Polls Suggest

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 10 – The Kremlin is pleased to call attention to polls showing that Russians overwhelmingly support what Putin is doing in Ukraine, but as a Russian journalist writing anonymously points out, there are at least five signs that their enthusiasm is far less than Moscow suggests and many around the world believe.

            “Aleksey Martov” lists the following indications that Russians are less than fully behind Putin’s war in Ukraine and that the Kremlin itself is increasingly worried about their attitudes and the actions they have taken or may take with regard to the war in the future (россияне-и-война-путина-подводят-яйца).

            The five include:

·       A new poll shows that young people don’t include an imperial Reconquista as one of their primary concerns.

·       The regime is having to pay ever higher amounts to get young Russians to serve in the military there, something it wouldn’t have to do if there were greater enthusiasm for the war.

·       Cases of desertion and disobedience within the Russian military are increasing.

·       The regime has discovered that its promotion of patriotism doesn’t start early enough to ensure that young people back the war and so now is adding patriotic components to the kindergarten curriculum.

·       Russians are ever more inclined to ask when the war will be over and why it is costing so much, both indications that they aren’t happy about it even if they continue to be recorded by pollsters as supporting what Putin is doing.

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