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The majority of Russians support the war in Ukraine, says an exiled Russian: why?

While almost four million Ukrainians have had to leave their country in the face of advancing fighting, an unknown number of Russians have also decided to go into exile. RFI was able to interview one of these opponents of the invasion of Ukraine and the iron censorship and repression established by Moscow. He dropped everything and cut ties with many of his acquaintances who do support the war. So think.

“In a single day, the entire country became a fascist country,” says this Moscow intellectual categorically about what February 24, 2022, the date of the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, meant for him. prefer to preserve your anonymity during the interview to protect himself and his family from possible retaliation by the Russian government.

At the beginning of the offensive, he was on vacation in another city, but he quickly returned to Moscow to participate in the protests in the first hours.

Russophobe number 1 is in the Kremlin, says the interviewee. Photo: AFP

“Me I had imagined thousands of people demonstrating against the war”, he says. The reality was different. The whole center was occupied by the police and the few young protesters who were there were arrested. “The truth is that the image I had in that demonstration was terrible”, he laments.

The young Russian left his country shortly after, before the growing fear of being drafted into the army. She was able to leave without much difficulty. The police did not attempt to hold him. Yes indeed, he deleted all his profiles on social networks.

More than a third of his friends have made the same decision as him. They are in other countries, “waiting for the situation to be clarified.” He now communicates with his family thanks to Telegram encrypted messaging.

“I don’t know how to return to the country to live among these people who applaud Putin and the dead in kyiv. This is unacceptable to me.”

“Most Russians don’t want to know anything”

This intellectual assures that from Russia all kinds of information can be accessed independent and uncensored about the war in Ukraine, thanks to the VPN system.

However, according to him, the brake is in the will of the population. “Most of the Russians do not want to know anything or what they want to know The TV tells him, and that’s the problem. The opposition claims that the polls are false, that the majority of Russians do not support the war, but I think it is true, that the majority supports this war and one day they would like to see a military parade in kyiv”.

“Most Russians don’t want to know anything or what they want to know is told on TV, and that’s the problem”

“I have acquaintances who support the war and I have broken contact with them,” he says.

“They are educated people, who have college educationwho have their business in the center of Moscow.”

For him, part of the Russians support the invasion of Ukraine from the heart and others, out of interest or fear of losing your job, particularly in sectors controlled by the Russian government.

“Russophobe number 1 is in the Kremlin”

With Putin in power, "there is no possible ending" to war, adds the interviewee.  Photo: EFE

With Putin in power, “there is no possible end” to the war, adds the interviewee. Photo: EFE

When asked how this conflict can end, he says he hopes that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin be betrayed by your circle or remove him from power in some way.” Without that, I don’t see a possible ending because he does not believe that Putin wants to reach a peace agreement with Ukraine.

“Russophobia is nonsense created by propaganda,” says this Muscovite, admitting that there may have been some cases of aggression against Russians abroad but that “Russophobe number 1 is in the Kremlin.”

By Carlos Pizarro, RFI

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