Friday, January 12, 2024

Russia Lacks Both ‘a Serious Anti-War Movement’ and ‘a Serious Pro-War One’ while Ukraine has Both, Pastukhov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan.9 – Many have observed that Russia lacks “a serious anti-war movement,” Vladimir Pastukhov says; but they have generally ignored the equally important fact that it lacks “a serious pro-war one as well.” Instead, Russians accept the war the way they accept almost everything else, “fatalistically,” which means they can change overnight if the regime does.

            The London-based Russian analyst points out at the same time “there is no serious, deep hatred for the enemy, be it the Ukrainians or the Americans,” except in those who have suffered or profited from the war directly ( reposted at

            The situation in Ukraine is very different and this difference will only grow over time, Pastukhov continues. “There, hatred of Russia and everything Russian is not superficial but deep” and has become “the most powerful driver of all social and political processes,” something that “does not exist in Russia yet.”

            Instead, what is on offer in Russia is “a superficial and artificially created psychological state, a Potemkin village of horrors,” if you will. That isn’t something positive in the Russian case, but it does mean that “there will be few people who will ‘cling’ to the war unless the state prods them to do so but there will always be many if the state wants to continue to fight.

            According to Pastukhov, this “syndrome of atrophied consciousness” has deep historical roots and will determine what is possible and what isn’t in the futures of the two countries, with Russians changing as the state changes but Ukrainians being far more likely to display continuity (


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