Russians react with resistance, anger and anxiety as the new phase of the war unfolds

Russia’s tightly controlled state media has reacted angrily to a promised shipment of Western tanks to Ukraine this week — and that anger is shared by some Moscow residents.

Ukraine’s tanks “will be a hindrance to our troops,” Sergei told CNN in the Russian capital. “But we’re going to win regardless. It just widens the conflict,” he said, repeating the Kremlin’s narrative that Ukraine is a puppet government of the West.

“It’s going to bring another world war,” added an old woman. “When I was a boy we remember World War II very well. No one is going to win another world war.

But that’s not the only sight on the streets of Moscow. Many Russians expressed excitement over the conflict, and some directly criticized President Vladimir Putin.

“It’s disgusting… they should never have started the war,” said one woman, calling Putin the “culprit” of the invasion.

“There is a lack of public information,” said another person, expressing their frustration at the pro-war propaganda filling Russia’s airwaves. “Things need to be explained to the people … It would be better if the experts started expressing their real opinions instead of obeying the orders of the government and Putin.”

Others think the time is right for a Russian withdrawal. “I think this is a political war, not a people’s war. Let them resolve this,” said another woman.

“What should we do? Our opinion is very squat.”

A film student who has friends fighting in the conflict said: “I’m on the verge of tears here. I wish that this special military operation should never have been launched in the first place, that this war and human life should really be respected.

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