10:41 PM, May 21, 2022, modified to 11:35 PM, May 21, 2022
Several months before the outbreak of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Greg Yudin warned the Russian public against war. This 38-year-old brilliant sociologist and philosopher was among the first to protest against the attack, even if it was by way of beatings by the police. Today, once again, he risks speaking loud and clear.
In your opinion, what is the prevailing state of mind of the Russian population regarding the war in Ukraine?
There is a minority of people who strongly support the war, and another minority strongly opposes it. For her, war is unacceptable. This is not only a brutal atrocity against the humans closest to us culturally, but also a crime against their country, Russia, an attempt to deprive it of its future. Many people in Russia sacrifice their lives in order to end the war immediately. However, the majority mentality is passive support. The population in Russia is highly depoliticized. She considers politics to be unhelpful and considers the people who practice it foolish or selfish. But to build that kind of isolation around you, you need to be told a story that allows, and that’s what propaganda does.
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Does this mean that the majority of Russians believe in propaganda?
People do not believe in anything, neither propaganda nor anything else. This is not the goal of the system. Above all, he wants to present an image that allows people to continue to live in peace. “Everything is under control. Everything was done out of necessity, but everything will end quickly. There are no civilians dying there, and if they do, it is not our fault. Go on with your life. People have been in denial for a long time. It is sometimes difficult to be in This is the case, but assuming that the war is real, and seeing the atrocities committed at Bute, is more difficult.
Putin has been preparing for this for years, and will go all the way. Even if he had to destroy the planet to win
However, over the past few years we have seen the emergence of a Russian community that discusses and reflects, thanks especially to people like you…
Indeed, we have seen the emergence of a fairly clear ambition for discussion, and public debate. Something completely new in Russia, where it is generally believed that problems can only be solved by force or deception. Television feeds this idea a lot by broadcasting aggressive talk shows all day long. However, in recent years, several actors have entered the public domain. They give explanations that allow a better understanding of what is happening. For example, psychologist Alexander Asmolov, writer Dmitry Glukovsky or journalist Yuri Dodd, whose videos have gained millions of views. This phenomenon is difficult to quantify, but it is a visible part of society that is a bit more educated, a little more progressive, and aware that it can have an impact. Unfortunately, today, what effect can words have when we bomb Ukraine?
The war has been going on for nearly three months. How do you see the development of the situation?
The most optimistic scenario of taking kyiv quickly did not work, but for me, this is not a sign that things did not go as planned. Putin is not stupid enough to go to war with only one military plan, he has other plans. He’s been preparing for it for years, and will go all the way. Even if he had to destroy the planet to win. This means that we are all in great danger, Europe must understand the gravity of the threat.
If they want to send me to prison, they will
Do you think that Europe did not take this action?
Awareness in Western Europe is happening slowly, but at the same time there is an intense lobby of some international companies, especially French, who desperately want to resume their business in Russia and are pressing for a quick signing of an armistice. . But what truce? Under the current circumstances, that could mean allowing Russia to swallow part of Ukraine. It would be a very bad signal to Putin. Pointing out that he was right and that the only thing that matters in Western Europe is money… I don’t support the war, and I also want it to end, but I know that if we don’t build a wall against Putin, any will to negotiate will be seen as a weakness. With him, any agreement is doomed to failure. There will be no peace in Europe and the situation will only get worse as long as he remains in power. The only way to end it is absolute defeat.
Are you aware of the risks you are taking by adopting such a public stance against war?
If they want to send me to prison, they will. I don’t care, because I’ve realized for a long time that as long as this regime is in power, there will be no future. Without a future, what’s the difference between being free or in prison? When European media ask me if I am afraid of repression, I answer: “Turn on Russian TV and hear them say how long it takes for nuclear missiles to reach Paris or London. No one is safe, and I will stay in Moscow to deliver this message.