After the massacre of civilians in Bucha and the ongoing invasion of the Russian army into Ukraine, Lithuania has decided to recall its ambassador from Moscow.
– Would you recommend Lithuanians to refrain from traveling to Russia? – E.Bajarūnas was asked to return to Vilnius this week on the TV show “New Day” of Lietuvos Rytas.
– Such recommendations have already been made by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
quickly, of course, our citizens are not as threatened as they are in Ukraine, but tensions are rising.
It has to do with hostility to foreigners, as well as a potential deprivation that can provoke unrest.
Both various and television reports reveal hostility to foreigners at all. Hostility and hatred to the West, which used propaganda for the people for years, has recently exploded like an abscess.
I can only guess how the Ukrainians living now feel.
Seeing the Russian polls, which show great support for Vladimir Putin and the war, is probably not easy for them.
Unfortunately, the prevailing philosophy is that Ukraine is not a state and Ukrainians are an artificial nation. This philosophy is especially good now – if I were Ukrainian, I would be a little uncomfortable.
– In the first days of the war, which were not successful for Russian soldiers and they were received in Ukraine far from being liberators, the Russians were expected to open their eyes. But on the contrary, polls show that support for Putin is only limited. How would you explain that?
– I do not know how accurately the polls reflect the mood of the Russian people. Even the agencies themselves point out that a very large proportion of people avoid answering the question altogether. It shows how great the fear is.
But interviews with political scientists and journalists confirm that there is a huge wave of support for what is happening in Ukraine at the moment, not to mention everything. Maybe it’s because there’s a war going on that they call a special operation, a desire to unite around their commander?
Most Russians learned the news from television. Seeing their laid, it is not difficult to understand why people see and evaluate the events in Ukraine differently than we do.
I myself have been watching those political shows for two years now, which account for almost 95% of Ukraine’s budget. time, and when the same thought about fascists and nationalists comes to mind for years, I don’t notice that people believe it.
– Although Western countries are expanding sanctions on Russia, they are tightening them, but they do not seem to be working as expected. why?
– They are certainly three to four higher than those applied to Russia after the annexation of Crimea. But they have a drawback – their potential effects are long-lasting.
And going to a store in Moscow – which I did before last Sunday – can find enough products. At one time, some kind of psychosis due to sugar, but it was also quickly stopped.
So far, the only obvious inconvenience is that the Russians are unable to cash out the currency in their bank accounts. But only five percent of those people are affected.
Of course, psychologically, the Russians feel the growing isolation of the country, but it is important that sanctions cross the pocket.
If that happens, the Russian economy will turn into a negative spiral. But today there are no sanctions.
– It has always been said that Russia is difficult to understand. Probably even harder to comprehend now, after the events in Buča.
– I think the biggest problem for Russia is that the future of this country is being shaped by looking at history, the past.
It seems to me that by focusing on the Second World War, it is not creating the future but the past.
It is becoming a country that does not look further and has no prospect of development.
It’s very unfortunate because there aren’t great people, a lot of resources. Russia has great scientists and cultural people, but everything has gone to the brim.
– What needs to happen for Russia and its leader to stop, to look to the future, not to the past, and to break out of the margins into which they have pushed themselves?
– Someday it will happen, but I don’t think so soon.
I don’t see quick recipes. We, the West, will still have to try to reach the Russians somehow. Not through Western propaganda, as the Russians say, but orally.