Open Notes

Anne Applebaum writing in The Atlantic

What could happen in Russia if the story became better known, the details clearer? What if Russians are eventually able to see the same graphic images that we see? What if the price of this pointless violence becomes tangible to them too? The unpopularity of this war is going to grow, and as it gets bigger, the other Russia—the different Russia that has always been there—will grow larger, too. The Russians who flooded the streets in 1991 to cheer the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russians who protested fake elections in 2011, the Russians who turned out in large numbers all across the country to protest the arrest of Navalny in 2021, the Russians, rich and poor, urban and rural, who don’t want their country to be an evil empire—maybe their numbers will expand enough to matter. Maybe, someday, they will change the nature of their state too.

Anne Applebaum