May 24, 2022 · less than 3 min read
Thousands were filmed chanting “F*** the war” at a recent concert in St Petersburg, clouding the long-held Kremlin line that Putin has unanimous public support.
A creak in the propaganda machine
Some of the support polls that have come out of Russia surrounding Putin’s ‘special military operation’ have been pretty bleak. Of course, they should be taken with a pinch – or possibly a mountain – of salt, but seeing such widespread support for the Ukrainian invasion shows how well-oiled the Kremlin’s propaganda machine really is.
But like Pandora’s box, finally some hope has managed to wriggle out into the online world with a mass display of rebellion against Putin’s war: thousands chanting “F*** the war” at a St Petersburg concert.
Saying no to censorship
A combination of propaganda-fueled media reporting and police brutality has meant that Russians opposed to the war will likely have felt isolated in their views. The Kremlin has long been pushing the line of a Nazi presence in Ukraine, but what’s evident from the St Petersburg footage is that not everyone is buying it.
The longer the war rumbles on, the greater the chance of public alienation. The footage surfaces a few days after retired colonel, Mikhail Khodaryonok, told people on Russian TV that, “The situation for us will clearly get worse”, and that “we are in total geopolitical isolation and the whole world is against us”. While Khodaryonok has since rowed back on his comments – likely due to Kremlin pressure – there are increasing signs that Putin’s war isn’t going to plan.
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