On Moscow’s Ukrainsky or Ukrainian Boulevard, the statue of considered one of Ukraine’s most well-known nineteenth century poets, Lesya Ukrainka, appears to be like down benevolently throughout the open area in the direction of the towering Hotel Ukraine.
This little piece of Moscow geography speaks to the integral means so many individuals in Russia view Ukraine – nearly as part of their id. Certainly that seems to be the best way Russia’s president sees it.
The close by rail station, Kievskaya, was the direct rail path to Kyiv.
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On the facet of a bench, in white paint, there are the phrases ‘No to battle’. That’s about all of the seen opposition you will see on the road nowadays, the odd piece of graffiti.
Masha, strolling her canine by the statue, wells up once I ask her about Ukraine. “I’m actually, actually unhappy.
“We’ve already cried about it so many times with our friends.
“I’ve buddies dwelling in Kyiv and I’m all the time checking in on them.”
She’s half means via explaining how brainwashed many Russians are when a fellow dog-walker Olga interrupts.
“Don’t ask us what we think,” Olga tells me.
“Ukraine has been blown up, Russia has been blown up.”
It’s a confused jumble of complaints and accusations, the place the US, EU and, surprisingly Austria, are the primary culprits. “We only feel that we are all being killed because in the main we are one people.”
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Olga will not imagine that it was Russia who had simply bombed cities throughout Ukraine till I guarantee her that President Putin had simply declared as a lot, in response to the Kerch Bridge assault.
“This was his response to the bridge attack?” she asks, taking it in. “Okay. This is the right response.”
The tone on state TV and the primary talkshows at present was newsy, not celebratory. As although Russia was taking these strikes of their stride, the civilian casualties barely talked about.
The focus right here was that these have been assaults on vitality infrastructure and army objects; that for Russia, this was mission achieved.
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“What’s being shown on state TV… it’s just insanity. Pure fanaticism,” says Dmitry, who we meet strolling the boulevard together with his brother who’s about to depart for Kazakhstan.
“The Russian population is cut off from any alternative means of information and people like myself who use VPNs and browse outside of Russian media, we see absolutely different pictures, horrific pictures.”
I ask him why he thinks so many are ready to observe all the pieces their president says so blindly.
“Unfortunately I don’t think I know my countrymen as well as I thought I did,” he replies.