Monday, December 25, 2023

War in Ukraine has ‘Changed Russian Society Forever, Dispelling Hope Russia Could Return to Normal after Conflict Ends, Martynov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 22 – Many who opposed Putin’s “special military operation” initially believed that once the conflict came to an end, Russia could go back to what had been its pre-war normalcy, Kirill Martynov says. But increasingly, such people are compelled to recognize that the war and the actions the Kremlin has taken to prosecute it have changed the country “forever.”

            “Russian society, the editor of Novaya Gazeta. Evropa argues, has been forced to submit to the Kremlin’s demands “in the most brutal fascistic way by means of a criminal ban on discussing reality and calling the war by name.” There is no going back ( reposted at

            According to Martynov, “the main trend” in Russian society now is “the formation of a class of ‘guardians’ modelled on the Islamic ones in Iran, ten to fifteen million people working for the war and defending the dictatorship made up of the army, the FSB, the MVD, the Russian Guard, jailors, the state apparatus, and members of their families.”

            These people “receive not only the bulk of resource rent from exports but also other benefits such as the right of their children to receive priority admissions to universities.” No other groups have these resources and as such are not the main supporters of the Putin dictatorship, the journalist says.

            But over the next few years, Martynov suggests, these people will be transformed into “servants of ‘the guardians.’” Teachers, for example, will become “a class of serfs completely dependent on the state and required to perform corvée in the form of indoctrinating children and taking part in rigged elections.”

            Thus, the war, like a poisonous weed, “has spread across Russia and is sprouting. On the surface are murderers from the PMCs … but in the soil are already the seeds of radical corruption and an undermining of ideas about good and evil. All that was needed to achieve this was to prohibit people from talking about the war and forcing them to accept it as a given.”


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