“To be honest, I hate Putin and I hate everything he does”

Slate‘s Joshua Keating has done a good job of reporting this past Sunday’s anti-war march in Moscow. This comment by one of the marchers he spoke with rings especially true on many levels:

Andrei Hartley, pushing an infant in a stroller along the march route, told me he believes the support for Putin may be “30 percent less” than has been reported because people are “afraid to answer the question.” But, he conceded, Putin “still has quite a lot of support because many Russians want to be brave and be proud of the Russian empire. To be honest, I hate Putin and I hate everything he does.”

Hartley, who works in food distribution, told me that “we’ve felt the effects of consumer behavior” as the state of the economy has worsened and sanctions have started to bite. Nonetheless, he feels there’s no hope of the government changing its actions until the “economy is two or three times worse than it is now; then the people will react. People live pretty well right now, so that’s why they’re not willing to go against Russian policy.”

putin plan 2008
“Putin’s plan is Russia’s victory.” Petrograd, 2008, Photograph by the Russian Reader

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