Many have said that Russia did not invade Ukraine, Putin invaded Ukraine. The Russian people have bravely demonstrated that they oppose the war. If we are arrested during a peaceful protest, we get booked and handed a citation with a court date. Even non-violent arrests in Russia can result in year-long (or more) sentences. The protests continue apace. This is Putin’s war.
Thus, as many predicted, thousands of Russians are starting to flee as reports of the possibility of martial law begin to appear: According to Axios’s Zachary Basu:
Thousands of Russians are rushing to flee the country ahead of this weekend, as rumors swirl that Vladimir Putin could soon declare martial law, close the borders and crack down even harder on domestic dissent.
For as devastating as the humanitarian situation in Ukraine has become, widespread suffering is rapidly arriving at Russia’s own doorstep.
More than 8,000 people have already been detained at anti-war protests since Feb. 24, according to the independent monitor OVD-Info.
This is nowhere near as disastrous for Russia as Putin’s move has been to Ukrainians, but it is disastrous because it accompanies a collapsing economy, military incompetence and even military uprisings, refusing to fight, and troops turning on leaders, according to Richard Hass, speaking on MSNBC’s Way Too Early. Putin has put his rule on the line and if the Russian people rise up, then it would be possible to see scenes from Russia that mirror those in Ukraine.
This is all occurring before the crippling sanctions have really had time to reach their ultimate effect. The very fact that they have already changed the economic situation in Russia entirely is a testament to the strength and Joe Biden’s willingness to impose surprisingly harsh consequences. It also takes experience and skill to unify the world behind the United States in the imposition.
Russian buildings are not being shelled and crying parents are not carrying dead children in the streets, but the situation in Russia is also deteriorating by the day.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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