Igor Bubelov About Blog Notes Photos

February 2022

Notes · Mar 5, 2022

War

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022_Russian_invasion_of_Ukraine

Russia is currently at war with Ukraine. Just wanted to share my experiences and observations over the last 10+ years.

Russia has been moving towards full scale genocidal dictatorship for many years. Most Russians fully understood it but tried to ignore this problem, hoping that it will resolve by itself. It’s fair to say that “passive majority” should share the blame, but it’s also important to understand that most Russians strongly oppose this war. This is a big problem for Putin, and that’s how he tries to solve it:

  • Russians are not allowed to call this war a war. Seriously, you can get a prison sentence for that
  • Pretty much all private and independent media companies were banned and/or forced to shut down their operations. Many Russians simply can’t access any news source except state-controlled propaganda
  • Russians have no right of assembly. People who participate in anti-war rallies just end up getting detained, often violently

I wish the world cared more when it was mostly our local issue. Now, it’s an international issue, and we need to fix it once and for all.

There are no good ways to fix it, though. Sanctions are effective, but it’s more of a mid to long-term medicine. A military confrontation is a thing NATO strives to avoid. The revolution from within is unlikely due to the reasons listed above.

Anyway, I think the best bet is an internal conflict, not the external one. The stakes are high, and every dictator knows that war is a double-edged sword. If it goes as planned, and you reach your goals, it can boost your rating. If your plans fail, it can be the end of your dictatorship. I’m cautiously optimistic at this point, and that’s why:

  • The war is clearly taking longer than Putin expected
  • The Russian casualties are massive, even the state propaganda admits that
  • The sanctions are a lot tougher than Putin expected, he can’t even open a stock market, and he went nuclear with the exchange rate and capital outflow restrictions
  • The stated reason for this war is to push back on NATO, but now Finland and Sweden want to join it. This is going to be a huge humiliation for Putin
  • This war forced Germany to increase its military budget rather dramatically. It’s going to be really hard for Putin to sell it as a victory, no matter what happens in Ukraine

I’m Russian and I work in IT, although I left Russia many years ago, mainly for political reasons. The IT sector is in full panic mode now, people are looking for jobs abroad, preferably with relocation options. I have little sympathy for people who were silent and who supported this fascist regime with their taxes, but it’s good they are scared and running away. It means sanctions work. Sanctions is an effective way to accelerate brain drain, which has a disastrous consequences for Putin’s regime.

Although “silent majority” is to blame, EU isn’t an innocent party, too. Who buys Russian oil and gas? Just remember where all that money goes. Starving Putin’s war machine till it breaks down is our common moral imperative. Anyone who refuses to do that must face severe consequences.