“The depth of the impact of sanctions can cause something to Russia.”

Anna Collin Lebedev, an expert in post-Soviet society, is a lecturer in political science at the University of Paris Nanterre.

Are you surprised by Ukrainian resistance?

Knowing how Ukraine and Ukrainian society have been aware of the situation for eight years, and also knowing the human capabilities of the Russian army, it does not surprise me what is happening. It is necessary to distinguish between the powerful equipment available to the latter and its strategic and human abilities, especially the training of soldiers. Well, this resistance of the Ukrainians reassures me, but it also worries me because the Russian army has not yet relied on indiscriminate bombardment. She thought it was enough to destroy critical infrastructure to return to the city. And obviously it doesn’t work as expected.

How does Vladimir Putin react?

Do not know. I’m not a Kremlin scholar, but apparently the entire Russian ruling class wasn’t behind him before the Ukrainian invasion began. I saw images of these meetings around Vladimir Putin. Those who were cut off because they said what they shouldn’t say, those who were publicly humiliated …

“Plate tectonics works, but it doesn’t look like a street.”

How important is the street protest in Russia?

It is not on the part of the demonstrators that we have to turn around to understand how Russian society reacts. People on the streets are brave and in the art world, but it’s not surprising that those who protest are protesting. Russian society probably has a large base of not so many but not ridiculous people, who are very critical of the administration and are prepared to take many risks to tackle peace and human rights. it’s finished. These people will be taken over in the cause, but will not affect the Kremlin’s decision. Plate tectonics move, but don’t look like a street.

There are other circles of Russian society. You have to look in three directions. The first is on the side of the upper middle class and economic elite, especially entrepreneurs, from owners of shops in rural towns to owners of large companies in the energy sector. The Russian model is based on the idea of ​​the possibility of making money and the possibility of prosperity. There is a system of corruption where everyone is involved and plays games to earn income. There is a connection to the economically integrated Russian society. But in this layer of the population, the predictability of their situation is shattered.

Because of a penalty?

Especially the difficulty of closing and carrying out economic activities caused by them. Regular muscovite is very up-to-date when it comes to mobile payment methods, online banking and more. In this area, Russia takes pride in being far more technologically advanced than a country like France. For these people, all of this is in danger of disappearing, as is the future outlook for children. Vladimir Putin is attacked against Ukraine, summons his boss’s boss, warns that business leaders need to make sacrifices, injects money into the circuit, and the country. It’s a sector of society that isn’t entirely him. It must include those who are obliged to prosper through international trade. We can witness a departure, a leak … the depth of the economic impact of sanctions can really cause something. These are the people who were loyal to the “Petinian” model because they ensured prosperity.

How about the average Russian?

There is a notion that it is due to the Russian geographer who has done a lot of work at the regional level. She says the Russians hear two speeches. What was sent on TV and what was sent in the refrigerator. In general, the two are the opposite. The refrigerator says “I’m emptying myself” and the TV says “We’re grown up”. Vladimir Putin also takes this study into account. Today, the TV says, “The refrigerator is empty, but it’s normal because we’re surrounded by enemies that are starving us.” The question here is which message has priority. Propaganda or survival? Even if the Russians could live in a very empty refrigerator. They know a crisis that is much larger and lasts longer than today’s crisis. Their survival rate is excellent. The question is, in their eyes, are they called to go through before the crisis returns to normal life, or do they think their country will sink forever …

Some say sanctions don’t worry about Vladimir Putin …

The reserve envelope of the Russian state, supplied by money from hydrocarbons set aside for difficult times, is considerable. There is a large nest egg that holds what it holds. Vladimir Putin may use this cash to ensure business loyalty. But it remains a vulnerable place.

“For many Russians, the covenant with the state is” we let you rule, but instead you do not interfere with our personal life. ” “

I will also mention other places of controversy …

Yes, this is not the case at the local level if there have been few asylums at the national level so far. At the local level, 100 elected local civil servants recently signed a petition to protest the war. However, in Russia, you need to know that real political life takes place at the local level where the actual elections take place. These people are even more angry with Moscow that there is a bill aimed at questioning the status of civil servants elected in decentralization and territorial elections. They are not against Putin, but they feel vulnerable because they will lose their jobs.

You also need to follow another group that has been fairly loyal to power. This was a major protest against the introduction of the Health Path. For many Russians, the covenant with the state is “We let you rule, but instead you do not interfere with our private lives.” There, many felt that their lives were being hindered. You can expect a reaction when the body of a soldier who died in Ukraine returns to Japan. For now, Moscow has guaranteed no deaths, but this will not last long. Russians are very wary of this subject because they know they are always lying about human loss. Next, they ask themselves about their involvement in this war.

How do they get the information?

Official media is forbidden to mention war. I can only talk about armed operations. But anyone who knows how to retrieve information can easily find it. You don’t need a Russian virtual private network (VPN) to access sites with trusted information. However, most of the population is unaware of what is happening in Ukraine. The information bubble works very well in Russia. This is why the return of the casket is definitely the trigger.

What is their relationship with Ukraine?

They are overwhelmingly sympathetic to the Ukrainians, but overwhelmingly believe they are dominated by criminals and others sold to the West.