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Millions of people have now watched a video of a Russian coast guard vessel ramming a Ukrainian tugboat in the Kerch Strait. For some Russians, this show of force undoubtedly aroused a sense of pride, much to President Vladimir Putin's pleasure. Addressing Russians' economic grievances will not be easy.To be clear, Ukraine is not attacking Russia.By asserting that the vessels entered Russian waters illegally, not to mention escalating tensions with the West, Putin may be hoping to breathe new life into the siege narrative, thereby inspiring the kind of primitive patriotism on which he has long relied.For example, the veneration of Stalin, with whom Putin shares more than a few traits, has no doubt contributed to many Russians' greater willingness to accept repression.Still, Putin's nationalist appeals may well be insufficient to rally public opinion this time, not least because, among Russians, animosity toward the West which is now linked to Ukraine in the minds of many has waned. Indeed, the last thing Russians want is to repeat a war that left 27 million of their countrymen dead.
What Russians are protesting about
Putin’s art of the purge brings back memories
The October Revolution
in post-truth Russia
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