Baku/25.02.22/Turan: On the first day of the war with Ukraine, 24 February, mass protests were held across Russia by citizens demanding an end to aggression against the neighbouring state. About 600 people were detained in Moscow, according to an official Russian source. Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of "Novaya Gazeta" and a Nobel laureate, made a proclamation against the war with Ukrainians. He concluded his video message with the assurance that no one in the world, except the people of Russia, can stop this war.

Vladimir Ryzhkov, an economics professor from St Petersburg, answered Turan's question about the mood in Russian society, agitated by the war that began yesterday.

He said that since there were no statistical polls on the mood of Russian society about the war, he could judge from his own surroundings.

"In my social circle almost everyone is horrified by this war, but it is the intelligentsia of St. Petersburg. Among my relatives there are those who support this war. They are the older generation, they watch and believe in Russian television.

I don't believe in the emergence of a powerful anti-war movement; however, the students of St. Petersburg (age 18-25) are overwhelmingly against this war and are ready to come out to protest rallies," Ryzhkov shared his personal observations.

"Different people (in Russia - Ed.) think differently. Those who watch Russian television believe in 'Ukrainian fascists' who carry out 'genocide of peaceful population of Donbass'. Those who get their information from the Internet do not believe all this nonsense and understand that we are talking about a fratricidal war waged for the sake of chimeras living exclusively in the minds of the Kremlin inhabitants.

The majority of the student body has, until recently, been apolitical. How this majority will be affected by the war, we simply do not know yet. It is likely that there will be more people ready to participate in anti-war protests than those who were ready to come out "for Navalny. But this is just a theoretical hypothesis which needs empirical testing," Ryzhkov added.

Granting this, an appeal to end the war with Ukraine, posted by human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov* on the Change.Org platform on February 24, gathered nearly 100,000 votes overnight, with the total number of signatures exceeding 388,000.  In the first eight hours, the document collected more than 290,000 signatures.

Note that Ponomarev called on all right-thinking people in Russia to oppose the war. "Putin gave the order to launch a military operation against Ukraine despite the terrible price that both Ukraine and Russia will surely pay for this war, despite all the voices of reason sounding in Russia and beyond. Russia's official rhetoric claims that it is being done for the purpose of "self-defence". However, the history will not be cheated," the human rights activist wrote in a petition," reported Kavkazsky Uzel today. -0-


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