Be cautious.

Recently, I was talking with a Russian who was categorically against the war in Ukraine. I took him for one of us. I relaxed. Started sharing the latest updates from the front, news of the atrocities committed by Russian fascists. Condemned Putin for this inhuman war.

He listened silently. And then he said, “Yes, Putin shouldn’t have gone into Ukraine. He should have continued to quietly pressure those ‘ukrops’ so that neither Europe nor NATO would accept them, and then they would come crawling on their knees themselves.” And then he went on about “Ukrainian fascism,” about Bandera, about biological laboratories, and so on.

And then I understood. Many Russians condemn the war in Ukraine not as an act of aggression but as a tactical mistake by their leader. They see that the open war has caused a torrent of disapproval and a backlash from the entire world, hitting Russia with sanctions and causing significant losses to their country. According to them, this is a mistake. But they do not doubt that they should fight against the “accursed capitalists” and their “servant” – Ukraine.

So not everyone who is against the war is necessarily against Putin’s aggressive policies altogether. Be attentive.

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