Friday, April 5, 2024

Unless 150,000 Russian Veterans of Putin’s War in Ukraine Get Psychological Help, They Will be a Threat to the Home Front, Experts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 1 – Many Russian soldiers who are returning from Putin’s war in Ukraine are suffering from PTSD and other psychological disorders, and by the end of that conflict, the number of those suffering from such problems may reach 150,000 or more, Russian experts say (

            These experts say and Russian officials acknowledge that veterans with such problems are more likely to engage in criminal activities, including most prominently violence within the family. But government efforts to address this growing problem remain miniscule compared to the size of the problem.

            Just how serious this problem is and how Russian government inaction is going to exacerbate it is explored in detail a new article by Bereg journalist Irina Klyagina (

            Drawing on the views of Russian experts, she points out that many veterans do not want to turn to anyone for help both because there are so few outlets offering it and so little publicity about them and also because of the stigma attached to admitting one has a problem and can only address it by getting psychological assistance.

            Consequently, even the small government effort is not reaching those it could; but unless that effort expands by several orders of magnitude, it is almost certain that Russia will face an epidemic of family violence and other crimes by veterans as more men return from the war in Ukraine.

            That is a consequence of the war that Russians are only beginning to face, one that means the damage to Russia from its involvement in that conflict will be far worse and last far longer than many now assume – and will at the very least undermine any “successes” the Kremlin claims from its war against Ukraine.


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