Russians react with defiance, anger and worry as a new phase of war looms

Russians react with defiance, anger and worry as a new phase of war looms

Russia’s tightly-controlled state media has responded angrily to the shipments of Western tanks pledged to Ukraine this week — and that anger is shared by some Moscow residents.

Ukraine’s tanks “are going to hinder our troops,” Sergei told CNN in Russia’s capital. “But we are going to win regardless. It’s just enlarging the conflict,” he said, repeating the Kremlin narrative that Ukraine is a puppet government of the West.

“It’s going to bring on another world war,” an older woman added. “We remember WWII well, when I was just a kid. No one is going to win another world war.”

But that isn’t the only view found on Moscow’s streets. A number of Russians expressed exasperation with the conflict, and some were directly critical of President Vladimir Putin.

“It’s disgusting… they never should have started the war,” one woman said, calling Putin “guilty” of the invasion.

“There is a lack of public information,” another person said, expressing their frustration with the pro-war propaganda that fills Russia’s airwaves. “People should be explained things … it would be good if the experts started expressing their real opinions instead of obeying orders, from the government and Putin.”

Others feel the time is right for a Russian exit. “I think this is a political war, and not a war for the people. Let them resolve this,” another woman said.

“What are we supposed to do? Our opinion means diddly squat.”

A film student, who has friends fighting in the conflict, said: “I’m on the verge of tears here. I just wish this special military operation never started in the first place, this war, and that human life was really valued.”

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