Russian citizens, growing frustrated with Putin, take to the streets – Reuters

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Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader, calls on Russian President Vladimir Putin to step up his efforts in Ukraine.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko warns that Ukraine will become a “meat grinder” in a few days.

Putin himself asks his Minister of Defense and Chief of the General Staff on the occasion of “Special Forces Day” to put his “strategic forces” (read: nuclear weapons) in a state of “readiness for fight”.

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Exiled Russian opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky, via Instagram, implores Russians – in the context of these comments – to take to the streets.

Police detain a protester as people gather outside the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, December 28, 2021.
(AP Photo)

They go down the street, but they are pushed back or stopped almost as quickly as they come out. Protests are illegal. Police came out in droves looking for offenders. According to reports, 1,500 people had been arrested across Russia by sundown on Sunday.

A woman from Yekaterinburg said she took to the streets because she was so upset.

“And I’m particularly upset,” she said, “because the aggressor is my country. In war, the one who starts it is guilty. And I am guilty. I voted for this government. I didn’t vote for Putin but I couldn’t do anything. »

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Such outbursts, stemming from conversations and social media posts, are representative of how many Russians feel inside.

President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s full invasion of Ukraine just eight months after TIME magazine reported that President Biden was ready to take on the Russian leader.
(Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

But a lot of people are afraid to comment frankly anyway. Weighing on one side or the other carries risks. Many others simply prefer to stick their heads in the sand. It’s too heavy to bear.

Social media, for now, is the forum of choice for comments.

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The Gorbachev Foundation released a statement that read, among other things: “We declare the need for a rapid cessation of hostilities and the immediate start of peace negotiations. There is and can be nothing more precious in the world than human lives. Only negotiations and dialogue based on mutual respect and consideration of interests is the only possible way to resolve the most acute contradictions and problems. »

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a press conference at the Ukrainian Embassy in Paris on April 16, 2021, after a working lunch with the French President.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a press conference at the Ukrainian Embassy in Paris on April 16, 2021, after a working lunch with the French President.
(Photo by BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)

The language of the man who brought us “glasnost” must have much more to say than that. Even inviting Ukrainians to speak in Belarus, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko continued with harsh rhetoric.

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He said, “What is happening now is a bed of roses. If it continues like this, it will bloom. And there will be no bunker (for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy) to hide in – not with the Americans or anyone else. I wouldn’t call it a war yet, it’s a conflict. In a day or two it will be a war.

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Russian citizens, growing frustrated with Putin, take to the streets – Reuters

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