It’s not Putin, it’s Russia
VoxUkraine has explained why the blood of innocent Ukrainians is on the hands of millions of Russians, not just Putin’s.
Putin personalises Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine. But the blood of innocent Ukrainians is also on the hands of millions of Russians who support Putin. Just like Germany went through denazification, Russia must repent for the war crimes committed in Ukraine and elsewhere.
When Russia occupied Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in 2014, Putin’s approval rating soared (Figure 1). Russians were ready to withstand [very mild] sanctions applied onto them by the West in order to have their feeling of victory and greatness. In eight years, Russia has turned a blooming Ukrainian peninsula and vibrant cities into desolate places similar to Abkhazia or Transnistria (which Russia also ‘liberated’). If you’ve never been to those, you can compare the state of nature and infrastructure in Finland and Karelia (seized by Russia in 1940), in the Kuril Islands that belong to Japan and those occupied by Russia, or the territory of Kaliningrad (former Konigsberg) oblast and the surrounding countries to understand how Russia “develops” occupied territories.