War in Ukraine | Russian critic is heard

In St. Petersburg for several days, the writer reported criticism of the “patriotic opposition”, the opinion of which was very different from the official Kremlin discourse.

(St. Petersburg, Russia) Daily reports on the war give way in the Russian media to discussion of military and political prospects. Containing opinions that differ greatly from official government discourse, they deserve more recognition, as they influence public opinion and, possibly, Kremlin decisions.

Therefore, Daniil Kotsubinsky, of the online daily Fontanka.ru, opposes “war until victory”. “Historical experience shows that only compromise can lead to reconciliation; otherwise, we continue to play Russian roulette, on a nuclear charge. Sergei Peresleguine, of the same daily, highlighted the technical intelligentsia whose mood, unlike the somewhat depressed artistic circles, was said to be on the rise. The import substitution policy allowed engineers to use their long-frustrated talents. “For years, they waited for an opportunity to work, rather than being told it was easier to buy from Siemens. »

Western sanctions, while eliminating this “simple” option, weakened the strength of the comprador bourgeoisie. The once influential Anatoly Chubais, the architect of the privatization of state-owned enterprises in the 1990s, was quoted this week as having advocated closing Uralvagonzavod, the country’s main arms and rolling stock producer. “We could always buy tanks and carriages from abroad,” he said then. Chubais emigrated with his family shortly after the start of the war in Ukraine. A few days ago, to emphasize the importance of the military industry, Putin celebrated 80 yearse commemoration of the breakthrough of the siege of Leningrad by visiting a defense factory currently operating 24/7 This factory repaired tanks during the siege that lasted 900 days.

In this context, the sale of hydrocarbons and metals to the West is controversial. Peresleguine argued that they should only be sold in exchange for strategic materials such as microchips and motors.

Others, such as Sergueï Mikheïev, active on television and in the blogosphere, find these sales incomprehensible because these metals and oil are used “to produce tanks and supply fuel to fight our soldiers”.

He also criticized flaws in Russia’s military strategy, including the continuing supply of Western arms and ammunition to Ukrainian troops that Russian troops “could not or would not” interrupt. If the reason was military, meaning the impossibility of overcoming the Ukrainian air defense, he saw in it the incompetence of the Russian troops. “If we can’t overcome Ukraine’s defenses, how can we deal with NATO countries?” If the reason is political, for him, it is immoral. “There is no justification for allowing the continued flow of Western weapons killing our soldiers and officers, especially in the context of mobilizations that take people out of normal life. He added that he had been asking this question for months, still unanswered.

Sergei Markov is a former member of the Russian parliament who is part of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. He spent time at the National Democratic Institute in Washington and is close to President Putin. Markov believes that Russia has taken several steps towards defeat. “I consider this year’s result to be a disaster. […] If we suffer defeat in the conflict with Ukraine, the war may spill over into Russian territory, the country may be occupied and dismembered, which will lead to the loss of statehood. »

Naive trust

The mistakes made will be both military and political. Markov lamented the Kremlin’s naive belief in the Minsk accords. These documents, as the co-signers Angela Merkel and François Hollande admit, were never intended to bring peace to Donbass, but rather to give Ukrainian troops a break and rearm them to reintegrate Donbass by force. Internally too, Markov said in an interview, the power structure is unreliable. “If the elites don’t flee to the enemy’s side, this doesn’t mean they are consolidated for this battle. True, they did not engage in sabotage, but many of them believe that this is not their war,” added Markov.

Conservative philosopher Alexander Dugin sums up the current situation dramatically: “It’s like a sleeping man fighting a wolf. They bit him, but he still couldn’t tell if he was dreaming or if the wolves were real. The half sleep in which our society and our country find themselves makes a terrible impression. »

This criticism coming from what one might call the “patriotic opposition” is an enlightened aspect of Russian society fighting the war in Ukraine.

* Mr. Rabkin is the author of Judaism, Islam and modernity (March 2022, Issue I)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *