Saturday, January 27, 2024

Rising Death Toll in Ukraine War, from Lack of Heat and from Lack of Medicines Prompts Some to Say Putin is ‘Optimizing Russian People’

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 24 – The collapse of communal services, the inability of the Russian government to ensure adequate supplies of medicines, and the rising death toll from the fighting in Ukraine is sparking anger among Russians and leading some of them to suggest that Putin is “optimizing” their number as he earlier “optimized,” that is cut, schools and healthcare facilities.

            As a result, the editors of the To Be Continued portal say, the policies behind these three developments represent “an enormous mistake by Putin in advance of the elections,” because while people may support the Kremlin leader’s policies against the West, they aren’t happy about policies that hit them where they live (

            Putin is banking that patriotic enthusiasm for his war in Ukraine will define how Russians view him; and up to now, there is some evidence that this is the case. But as Russians see what Putin’s policies there and elsewhere mean for their lives, they are likely to connect the dots and turn on him, the portal suggests.

            The longer the war goes on and the more the Russian people are asked to sacrifice not only in the form of higher taxes but in suffering as a result of communal service collapses, the more Russians will do so, something that is surely on Putin’s mind and may explain why he has  stepped up the pace of the war in Ukraine at a time Russians are feeling the pinch at home.   


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