A view from Russian academia

English translation

  1. Negative influence of the USSR: beginning with the immigration after 1917 and Stalinist purges and ending with the destruction of the will to live freely to the falling apart of the country. People didn’t live normally and so don’t want to live normally now, those who protest are mostly very young.
  2. A non-trivial share of the people are idiots. They can’t or, for many reasons, don’t want to absorb non-one-sided information and just want to be “outside of politics”. And the most accessible information is, sadly, propaganda.
  3. Propaganda is literally EVERYWHERE. On TV it reaches absurd proportions, and besides that special bot farms write a huge number of online comments, forming a false public opinion and swaying those who are uncertain to their side.
  4. A huge army of siloviki (strongmen). Ukraine’s Maidan could happen because resistance [against the protestors] was not comparable to that of Russia and Belorussia. The Russian government has a huge horde of policemen and Rosgvardiya [National Guard of Russia] who get paid decent money just for brutally beating people who simply show up to a demonstration (and actually get pleasure out of doing so because they are idealistic and see enemies in those who show up). Then they imprison the people for 30 days and then create problems for them in their studies or work. And any resistance leads to a huge prison sentence. I’m not even mentioning, that people can be jailed for several years for tweets or social media posts (this is not an exaggeration!)

Russian original

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