Since the beginning of July and the last conquests of the Russian army, nothing has changed in the official discourse of Russia and yet the news on the ground is getting stronger. The Ukrainian army has again announced that it is in progress more than 20 localities within 24 hours as part of its counter-offensive. The press releases in Ukrainian follow each other, but nothing quite resembles what one hears in Russia.
From our correspondent in Moscow,
In a press point always entitled “Update on the progress of special military operations”, the spokesman of the Ministry of Defense stated on Saturday September 10: ” in order to achieve the declared goals of the special operation for the liberation of Donbass, it was decided to consolidate the troops located in the Izium area to strengthen the efforts in the direction of Donetsk. In order to avoid damage to the Russian troops, a heavy loss of fire was inflicted on the enemy with the help of missiles and artillery. For three days, more than 2 000 Ukrainian and foreign soldiers, as well as more than 100 units of armored vehicles and artillery, were destroyed “.
In fact there was a kind of debate organized on a state channel on Friday September 9 with this statement that had never been heard before: “ The people who convinced Vladimir Putin that the special operation would be fast and efficient, that we would not bomb civilians, that we would arrive and that our national guard, together with Kadyrov’s men, would put everything in order, this people we are all stuck. . We are now at a point where, we must understand that it is absolutely impossible to defeat Ukraine with the resources, soldiers and colonial methods that we have. “.
On the net, many do not give much of the future of Russia to the person who made these statements: Boris Nadjedine, former deputy of the Duma. However, this intervention mainly serves to provide all the arguments to challenge it on all sides. ” There is no question of negotiations with Zelensky’s Nazi regime “, thus answered a representative from United Russia.
Polls and the widening gap
Since the start of the special operation, as the Kremlin says, polls have shown broad approval of sending Russian troops to Ukraine. Surveys compared to the other two events. The first: the gap between public discourse and everyday life. In Russia, state television talked a lot about the offensive. He doesn’t even speak, since February 24, almost that’s all. And at the same time, the audience curves fell to the point that last week, for the first time, an entertainment program returned to the screens.
Moreover, in everyday life in Russia, on the surface at least, almost nothing has changed. Some of the ” Z” in public space except official buildings. And the widespread feeling that no one can do anything that is not related to what happens, so only to pay attention to it. Illustration again this week with a video that is very shared on social networks. We saw Muscovites dancing outside. It happened Saturday, September 10 in Moscow, the city celebrated 875 years of its existence. Vladimir Putin attended many celebrations. In the streets, the air is sweet, the atmosphere is promenade and celebration and fireworks. As if several thousand kilometers away, absolutely nothing happened.
It is very difficult to know, however, whether this apparent indifference constitutes something else. Everyone under the law prohibits defamation of the armed forces under pain of a heavy fine and/or from prisonand almost everything very careful with his words. Except, and this is the second phenomenon, the nationalists. On their highly followed Telegram channels, a different story is being heard. Sunday, in one of them, one can read a text that begins with these words: Dear Ministry of Defense, we know you read us. Here’s what we have to tell you “.
Very few allow themselves to respond to a direct criticism of Vladimir Putin: it is a big red line to ask the Kremlin directly. To the anger of the nationalists, the spokesman of the Russian presidency, Dmitry Peskov, expressed himself thus: Russians support the president [ … ] as long as critical views remain within the boundaries of current law, that is pluralism. But the line is very thin. You have to be very careful “.
There are more insistent, loud and clear, a general mobilization. However, for most Russian observers, what is likely to happen is a new shutdown of Russian society.