Putin’s speech

How was President Putin’s speech received in Russia? Are Russians still behind him? 

Peter Hanseler

In the last few days, I discussed President Putin’s speech last week with acquaintances, friends and family. 

The Russians thought the speech was good. As always, the president had spoken calmly, concisely and logically. What he said makes sense. The people are behind him. 

There is no enthusiasm for this war. Russians are enthusiastic about sporting events and celebrations, certainly not about war. The martial war gurgling in the West is alienating – after all, they are far away from the gunfire. Nor is there any joy in the many dead Ukrainians – on the contrary. 

The annexation of the four regions – especially the clear approval of the referenda – is welcomed. That the conflict will change as a result of the partial mobilisation and the annexation is clear to all. 

Most of those who will receive their marching orders are family men. No one is happy to be drafted. 

The communication of the Ministry of Defence is criticised, and only gradually do people realise that troops from the standing army are being rotated to the front. The newly drafted will take their places – in other words, they will not be sent to the front. No one will go enthusiastically. 

There is no consensus about those who are leaving now. Some, rather the younger ones, are sympathetic. The older ones call deserters wimps, not traitors. There is talk of a lack of patriotism and disloyalty. 

The Russians want peace, but understand that you have to fight back – now it’s about Russia. The West is increasingly unmasked: they want to destroy us – why? 

Those who follow the Western media were somewhat surprised by the Western coverage of Putin’s speech: Was the translation wrong? What kind of speech did the Western media report? 

The Russians consider the West’s attempt to blame the blasts of Nord Stream 1 and 2 on the Russians as grotesque. Those who profited from it did it: the perpetrators rammed the knife into the Germans’ backs. The West is thus at odds, and the constant propaganda against Russia makes some Russians think that they have lost their marbles. 

The old people refer to the winter of 1941 – the coldest winter in 150 years. The Germans were on the outskirts of Moscow. More Germans died of frostbite that winter than on the battlefield. The winter belongs to the Russians. The Western weapons the Ukrainians are fighting with now are not designed for winter. 

The Russians are – as always – sceptical. That the West will win, however, is ruled out. At what price will peace be to be had? 

Putin’s speech

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