Something I’ve noticed over the past week or so here: almost every Ukrainian I spoke to has made it clear that they blame not only Putin, but the average Russian as much (or more) for this war. The view is: we overthrew our corrupt government, and they accept their murderous one.
The amount of animosity from the average Ukrainian towards the average Russian is already huge and growing more with every single new airstrike, every new civilian death. The effects of this war will last for generations.
And I’m saying this from Kharkiv. I think I saw more virulently anti-Russian views here than anywhere else in the country. The sense of betrayal here, of ‘how could they possibly do this to *us*’, is incredible.
The people we watched crawl out of the rubble today told us their relatives in Moscow didn’t believe them. Videos of their destroyed home were met with ‘it’s a fake’ or ‘Nazis did it.’ *Every* bond between Ukrainians & Russians – familial, cultural, historical – is being broken.
Honestly Kharkiv is crazy. Everything from the center going northwards, just street after street is blown out. Every street littered with glass and burned-out cars and broken buildings.
About Neil: interested in the Caucasus, Russia and Ukraine. Ex intelligence analyst at The SecDev Group. Primary focus is Chechnya, violence and politics in the North and South Caucasus, and the Syrian conflict, particularly Russia’s role there. Neil is searching for new opportunities, so please do feel free to get in touch at [email protected].