People Who Are Living In Russia Right Now As It Invades Ukraine Share What It’s Like In 30 Posts Interview With Author
The world is rallying to support Ukraine as it defends its home, people, and freedom against the Russian invasion. And plenty of Russians are also denouncing Vladimir Putin’s war, both at home and abroad. Some of them are sharing their open and honest thoughts on the internet.
Russian redditors opened up about what they think about the war in Ukraine in a viral thread on r/AskReddit. It’s clear from these internet users’ answers that they are horrified by what’s happening. And the vast majority of those in the thread support Ukraine. Scroll down to read their thoughts.
To date, over 6,400 Russians have been arrested since February 24 for protesting the invasion of Ukraine.
The situation, both in Ukraine and internationally, is very fluid which means that things change incredibly rapidly, literally by the hour. Some facts become outdated very quickly; others turn out not to be facts at all. Always keep this in mind and remember to double (and triple!) check anything you read online, dear Pandas.
Bored Panda spoke about how to recognize Russian propaganda and how to fight against disinformation online with Mike Sington, a former Senior Executive at NBCUniversal, who has a deep understanding of how news media and social media work. "Know that big tech is now taking active steps to minimize or eliminate Russian propaganda from all the major social media platforms. This ranges from Facebook and Instagram blocking Russian state-run media and actively stopping disinformation campaigns, to Twitter, which is removing manipulated content, and adding warning labels to Russian state-affiliated media," he shared.
Mike stressed the fact that when posting information about the war on social media, "there’s nothing more important than to get it correct."
We also got in touch with the author of the Reddit thread that started the entire discussion, u/Dull-Caterpillar3153, who shared their perspective on the war. "I’m happy the thread got the exposure that it did because it’s a topic of personal and global interest. Many of us live outside of Russia and have not a clue on how and what Russian people are thinking. Many great Russian people responded to my question and they gave interesting answers. The vast majority strongly disagreed with the conduct of Russia." Scroll down for both exclusive interviews.
As a Russian citizen, I have never been more embarrassed of my country and its leaders. A war for nothing. Just because this old balding douchebag has gone off the rails. I hope this war will at least open the eyes of more Russians on who he really is. This motherf*cker needs to be pressured both from the outside and from the inside of the country.
We say that Russian government is to blame, not people. But its our fault too. We failed to get him out. We tried but we failed. All the protests that were happening because of stolen elections didn’t change a thing, but I hope with more people realizing there will be more and more protests with more people. This scumbag must live every second of his pathetic life being TERRIFIED of being captured and held accountable. And I want to see him be.
Mike, from Los Angeles, suggested that if anyone sees a stand-alone post from a source that they're unfamiliar with, it's best to "proceed with caution." The same should be done with posts that haven't been verified by the social media platform.
"I would urge the people of Russia to completely ignore the national and local news that is being fed to them within their own country. For Russian citizens, they will actually get a more accurate representation of what’s happening if they turn to the large social media platforms, where people are posting from outside Russia," he said that Russians should strive to get a clearer picture of what is actually going on with the war in Ukraine.
I am Russian. Living in Moscow right now
This week is probably one of the worst that I have ever had in my life. My soul is draining when I see that face of my country (even though, I purely hate him and a lot of other Russians does, but, however, TV propaganda works great for older people and due to that there he still has supporters. And yes, his last election was 100% falsification) declares freaking war on Ukraine - nation, with which we have one of the strongest roots. F*ck war.
Also, about people not trying to act against him. Believe me - a lot of us does. However, it’s not that easy to start protest on three streets. Why? Several reasons:
1. Older generation is fully against it. So most teenagers, that would like to protest, won’t come.
2. After your protest you can probably lose everything you have. I am serious. Work, university (they can just drop you) and etc. Also you can easily go to jail. For a long time.
3. Right now it is illegal to bring a lot of people together on the streets due to pandemic. So government can without a doubt and with a huge smile just arrest you. Or hit you. Lots of times.
4. And the last and the most important one. Putin don’t gives a single f*ck about protest. He just does not care.
I am afraid of everything that happens. And totally against it. But the worst thing is (if we exclude lots of Ukrainian deaths, just because I cannot even think about it, because I just start to f*cking cry) after everything ends, Russian will be guilty for everything. Even so, most of them just want peace and war. No one cares - we are guilty. And we will carry this burden for the rest of our life...
Peace to everyone.
When it comes to posting information about the war on social media, it's vital that the information is correct. "If you’re unsure, don’t post. If you make a mistake, correct it. Double-check your information before posting with legitimate, mainstream, international news organizations. Avoid country-specific outlets," Mike said.
"If you see a post, and you’re unsure of the accuracy, don’t repost or comment. This just feeds the algorithm that could push possibly erroneous information to more people."
Shocked, angry, ashamed, but mostly f*cking terrified. I’ve been crying all morning. Putin doesn’t speak for our nation, we didn’t elect him, it was all staged. I don’t want war. I don’t know anyone who wants war. I’ve got family in Ukraine, lots of us do and it’s excruciating to read all the news.
We try to organise protests but it’s hard since this f*cking usurper got most of our protestants to rot in jail. But we try. It is scary to go cause all the protests end the same way with no results. But I feel that it [is] important to go and at least try to make a change.
We want peace. There’s literally no reason to start a war EVER. This is not my president, he is a killer and he must be held accountable for his crimes.
Meanwhile, the author of the emotional thread, u/Dull-Caterpillar3153, shared with Bored Panda how they feel about Russia invading Ukraine. "I personally think the situation is utterly horrible. This isn’t something that has been forced. They have chosen to go this way. They have chosen to take innocent lives. Sadly, many of the people in higher positions don’t care for human life in the way most of us do," the redditor said.
"Sadly, it appears that there is not much the Russian people can do. As many of the Russian people in the thread informed me, they have practically no say at all on the situation. Sanctions will have a strong economic impact on the country, however, more protesting could be effective," they said.
Russian here. This b*stard Putin is simply out of his mind! He is a mad man. I am terrified of what’s happening right now.
I'm looking how people I didn't even vote for are destroying my future.
My wife live in Kiev and I was planning to relocate to her in next couple of weeks. Now I don't even know if I'll see her ever again and I'm f**king scared.
My wife was in tears this morning (we live in St Petersburg, I am Australian) saying "what else can we do?! We were beaten in the streets for protesting Putin years ago! People are still in jail for it. Political opponents are shot. We can't get rid of him, he does as he pleases."
"It’s important to note that protesting should be done in a way that does not endanger Russian civilians. A safe and strong method to voice their massive worries about the situation could help the people in power see how out-of-touch they actually are. Some of these people seem totally robotic, however, even if the message gets through to just a few of them, then the protests will have been a success for the people of Russia," the redditor told Bored Panda.
Despite many Russians taking part in anti-war demonstrations, there’s barely any hint of them or the crackdowns against protesters in the local media. Instead, Russians inside the country are bombarded with the Kremlin’s anti-Ukrainian propaganda. Moscow is pulling out all the stops to try and find excuses for the war. Some, unfortunately, wholeheartedly believe the propaganda. Others, however, see the truth of the unprovoked invasion and side with Ukraine.
“The Kremlin has all but crushed Russia's independent media, and is gagging what's left of them. Ten publications got a letter late last week from the country's communications watchdog warning them not to use the words ‘invasion,’ ‘attack’ and ‘declaration of war’ under threat of having access to their publications ‘restricted,’” writes CNN.
I live 80 km away from Kharkov. This morning windows were shaking, jets flying, some bombs hit our own houses (absolute disgrace from our army, incompetent f**kwads). A big part of my savings for getting a better job and moving countries is turning into toilet paper before my eyes, undoing years of my work.
F**k this s**t sideways. This powerlessness to change anything for the better is getting the best of me today, I'm tired of this deranged warlord claiming that I "support" him.
To all the Russians speaking up against Putin, I hope you all remain safe and strong
I am morally destroyed. I cannot work, I am shaking. I do not know what to do. I have nowhere to run from this, I have no means to stop this. I fear for my mother, for my friends, for their children. Our future is irreparably broken.
The economic sanctions imposed by the West are having a direct and noticeable effect on Russia. The BBC notes that ordinary Russians are also seeing the disruptions caused by the international community isolating the Kremlin.
“Ordinary Russians face seeing their savings wiped out. Their lives are already being disrupted. The sanctions against some Russian banks include cutting them off from Visa and Mastercard, and consequently Apple Pay and Google Pay,” the BBC says.
In response to the new sanctions, Russia doubled its interest rate to 20% on Monday, as the rouble reached new lows. Meanwhile, the country’s stock market is still closed.
CNN points out that the West removed some Russian banks from SWIFT. What’s more, two of Russia’s largest banks—Sberbank and VTB—have been cut off from direct access to the US dollar. Around $1 trillion worth of Russian assets have been frozen by sanctions.
Yesterday I saw a Russian in the Russia reddit say; "why should Russia allow it self to be surrounded by enemies"
My response was; how about the option of making less enemies?
I was banned within 30 min.
Keep in mind that Russian People who are using Reddit hate Putin, because we can speak English we can see different side of the world, if you will open our Russian social networks you will see the joy of the people because for them Putin is destroying ukrainian nazi, keep in mind they were brainwashed for 20 years to believe in everything they see on TV.
It’s amazing we as a society haven’t evolved passed this level of control to kill each other for these governments
I'm in an outright panic, shock, outrage, disgust, terror and horror over Putin and his clique starting an outright war. I don't believe in hell, but for him, his cronies and everyone responsible for starting this war (and all other wars, but this one especially) - hell sounds like an excellent place for them to stay for the rest of forever.
No one could believe the war would start until it happened - it made no sense not just from humane side of things, but from politico-economical side as well. Putin is now officially off his rocker, criminally insane, and anyone supporting him should be considered an accomplice in his crimes against humanity.
And as someone, who is both a male Russian citizen of conscriptionable age and was born in Ukraine and still has close relatives there - it's twice as terrifying (and it is indescribably terrifying already).
F**k the war! F**k Putin! F**k imperialism! Хуй войне!
One of my friends from Russia says that he feels the shame that non-nazi germans felt in 1939.
I’m f**king horrified. I can’t believe this is really happening. I have already packed an emergency kit, withdrew all our dollars (not much) and rubles (worth next to nothing at the moment). There are lots of bots spamming that Ukraine gets what it deserves, but it’s not f**king true. Many celebrities have already called for the politicians to stop the war, the young are already getting arrested for anti-war protests as of right now.
I have donated to some of my Ukrainian friends to help them escape and I can only hope that they will be as safe as possible. I also have downloaded maps of most of our neighbouring regions and was kind of making a plan to seek refuge in Latvia or Estonia, but apparently we will not be welcome there, and we are trapped in a country governed by an elderly man who we couldn’t really believe was THAT mad right until today.
As someone who lives in Russia and grew up in Ukraine, I’m shocked, terrified and crushed. A couple days ago we couldn’t imagine something like this but now, when it’s more than real, it seems like the worst is yet to come. I’m deeply embarrassed and upset of how it turned out. The actions our government took will throw us back to the nineties politically and economically, but that’s not the most important part. People will die, thousands of families will suffer and our relationships with Ukraine will go through something they won’t recover from.
Stay strong, fellow Ukrainians. For whom it may concern, we’re sorry.
I really f**king hate what is happening right now. I hate that Putin made us all his accomplices. We want no part in these crimes. Times are tough in Russia as it is, and he has to make it worse for us all by murdering our neighbors and getting our soldiers killed.
I love my country, its people, its wildlife/nature, but I can't stand thinking about living my whole life here while this government abandons its people to live in hopeless poverty while also committing such atrocities against other countries.
There are no valid reasons in this age for war. No reason other than greed and power.
We are sorry for that. 90% don’t want a war. What’s happening now is a tragedy.
We didn’t elected our officials and now they give their own opinion as the opinion of the people. We understand how much problems we will get because of VVP. Especially economic. We had the highest inflation ever since 1990s. After todays actions our life will be worse, people are poorer and the whole world will be against us.
We thought that there won’t be any real invasion or military conflict. But today the seal is broken. We know that VVPs plane left Moscow about 11:00 pm. We don’t know what will happen next. Just want u, especially Ukraines, to know that we r sorry for your losses. We DONT WANT WAR. nobody want it.
A saw videos from telegram. It’s frightening. Nobody wish u troubles and deaths because of ambitions of our president.
All I know from social media is that Ukraine army doesn’t react to Russian military. The are not counterattacking them. We know that civilians get injured, some of them are dead, we saw how our army destroyed civil house. That terrible. Shame to all who are participating and promoting this conflict.
I am ready to go to the metro or bunker. My documents are ready. I am afraid too, because western world should answer.
Wish u luck and health. We are humans for the first, not citizens.
In Russia WE WANT PEACE. NOT WAR Possibly, today is gonna be a protest. But it won’t end good. We are afraid to participate in it and it won’t lead to changes.
We are hostages too
im not russian but some of the attacks are dangerously close to borders of other countries, mine included. im kinda scared and depressed at the same time, i can only expect influx of ukrainian immigrants. and i very much hope that f**kface putin gets assasinated
I'm Russian university student, living in Kazan. Currently residing in university's dorms.
Today, while I was on lectures, someone hanged posters on balconies, so they could face the streets, with writing such as "Stop the war!" and "Putin get out of the Ukraine!". When I came, there was the whole f**king police squad, looking through camera footage to find those people. From what I've heard, those guys will get expelled, if not sued for extremism. For a goddamn posters.
So yeah, suppression of public disapproval is no joke.
I've talked only to a certain demographic of people, a.k.a. university students, but there's almost universal disapproval of the invasion. There was one exception, but the girl who approved has family in the government and nobody likes her. At all. So she doesn't count.
As for the general atmosphere, everyone is on edge. I'm really anxious. My roommates are too. One of them says they'll go to the protest, if there will be any. Other roommate is depressed, eating candy, thinking worst case scenarios. None of them believes Russia will come out a winner out of this war.
My brother is doing his military service. 20 year old kids with no military experience who have no other choice but sleep in the forest and wait for commands. Families are told that they won't get any news for at least a week, maybe even for a month. F**k Putin.
You know all those hypothetical questions we always ask — if we could go back in time, make sure to kill Hitler before he starts s**t?
Well….wish someone would’ve taken one for the team.
I f**king hate our government and patriots. They had low salary because of 2014, now they have no future and still screaming that Putin is greatest dictator and Ukrainians are just nazis and we going to save russians from them...
I'm 19 and my future is ruined because of these bastards, i don't know how to stop this, all i know is i must run from this country while planes still flying (But sadly, every civilized country won't accept me).
I remember times when i wanted to visit Kyiv, Ivano-Frankhovsk and other places and countries. Now i understand that this is end for us, world isn't gonna forgive Russia for these crimes, i hope invasion will be fast and without innocent casualties (cause if it won't be fast, casualties will be catastrophic on both sides), Ukrainian people always where like brothers for me. I visited Odessa two times, very kind and lovely people here, now my country going to burn it all... I'm sorry, i hope I won't get caught by army and i don't want to come to Kyiv with a rifle in my hands.
F**k Putin. That's what.
I teach English Language. This quarter I have a young husband and wife in my class. In last week’s writing assignment I asked everyone to write about a time they had to move. They have been here since September 2021.
The husband wrote that they moved to the US because of the tensions between Ukraine and Russia. He said his religion forbids killing and if he stayed, he’d be forced to fight. He misses his mother.
His wife wrote the same.
Deeply shocked and terrified, I don’t know a single real person who supports it, every person I’ve spoken with is in a pure state of horror. Until the last moment we couldn’t believe that this would actually happen and they would do this and we are horrified as we have no idea what will happen next to both countries. It’s already hard to live with the realization that your country is a world enemy and it makes it even harder considering that we are talking about Ukraine and Ukrainians as we never wanted to fight with them and still don’t want to.
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