Russians are “depressed” by the bloodshed being wreaked in Ukraine as many are left questioning their military’s strategy, which since the beginning has been mired with setbacks. Katya, a schoolteacher in Moscow, told the FT, after bringing her class to see a propaganda exhibition on the war: “No one understands anything.
“First we came up to Kyiv, and then we left — and how many people were killed? Then we took Kherson, and then we left it again. And how many people were killed? Even military men, they know how war works. But even they don’t understand this strategy.”
The humiliating retreat from Kherson at the beginning of the month and the mobilization of fighting-age men by Putin had left those in Russia “in an unstable state, nervous, anxious. Everyone is depressed,” she added.
Last month, an independent poll found that 88 percent of Russians were worried about how the invasion was progressing, with just 36 percent stating they wanted the fighting to continue. A former official told the paper: “They are just completely mishandling this. They can’t think two steps ahead. It’s completely reactive.”
He said of the Kherson retreat: “It’s completely humiliating — this was the only provincial center Russia had, and they surrendered it in a month and a half.”