WAR IN UKRAINE
Repressive laws and arrests discourage protests against the war in Ukraine and prompt dissenters to leave
…A Russian law prohibiting referrals to the military campaign in Ukraine as a war or an invasion and mass arrests of protesters have largely eliminated visible signs of dissent inside Russia against the war. Large numbers of Russians opposed to the war have chosen to be exiled.
The Kremlin has welcomed the departures of critics.
“Many people are showing themselves to be what we in Russia like to call traitors,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in mid-March. “They disappear from our lives on their own. Some resign from their jobs, some withdraw from their professional lives, and some leave the country and move to other places. That’s how Russia is cleansed.”
The Kremlin can count on the support of many Russians. President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating rose to 83% at the end of March, from 71% a few days before Russian troops moved into Ukraine, according to independent Russian pollster Levada Center.
What began as a robust protest movement in Russia, with thousands of activists taking part in protests or handing out antiwar literature, has now faded. The last major antiwar rally was on March 13, and the streets have been mostly quiet since.
Read more of this article here: