Russian people hurting from sanctions, but they may be rallying to Putin: Russian-American
Additional weapons are on the way to Ukraine as tensions rise
Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin has the latest on the Russia-Ukraine conflict on ‘Special Report.’
A Russian-born American told Fox News on Tuesday that sanctions imposed on Russia by the West are taking a significant toll on the Russian people but in some instances are actually rallying more support for President Vladimir Putin.
“The rhetoric from the Russian people, especially from the ones who are feeling the full effects of the sanctions and their life is taking a huge downturn, they’re becoming more and more pro-War and pro-Putin,” Vadim Ismakaev, who was born in Omsk, Russia, and moved to the U.S. when he was 18-years-old, told Fox News Digital. “Because for them the message is that the West has always tried to destroy Russia and that’s what they are trying to do here now. We’re just trying to save our country.”
Svyatogorsk Lavra in the Donetsk region after it was targeted
(State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine )
Ismakaev explained that the censoring of social media networks and other means of communication in Russia is causing people to become even more dug in and become “more and more closed within their circles of like-minded people.”
Russia’s government blocked access to Instagram this week, further severing its millions of users and influencers in the country from the outside world. The government has all but eliminated open media, even arresting and fining state TV editor Marina Ovsyannikova for disrupting a live broadcast with an anti-war message.
“From the very beginning it was ‘Russia against the world’ and ‘Russia vs. the evil West’ and it’s just a very bad situation that I don’t see getting any better,” Ismakaev said. “If anything, over the past week, it actually got worse from what people are posting and how extreme those messages are starting to get. “
Gutted cars following a night air raid in the village of Bushiv, 40 kilometers west of Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 4, 2022. Russia’s war on Ukraine is now in its ninth day and Russian forces have shelled Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, sparking a fire there that was extinguished overnight. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ismakaev, whose parents live in Russia and girlfriend’s family lives in war-torn Kyiv, says that Putin’s propaganda has had a significant effect on many Russian people. While many Russians have lost their life savings due to the collapse of the ruble, many of them have blamed the West rather than Putin.
“The type of attitude from many people is like, we don’t care about your sanctions, you give us more sanctions we’re just going to laugh at it,” Ismakaev said. “It’s actually starting to help his [Putin’s] narrative because for a lot of people they do not know the reasons for those sanctions.”
Russians are being told, according to Ismakaev, that the sanctions are being put in place because the West hates Russia, which is a narrative some Russians have accepted.
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to female flight attendants in comments broadcast on state television on Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Image: Reuters Video)
“That narrative has people like, ok, therefore we are not afraid of the sanctions and we will live poorly and we will live like crap we don’t care, at least we are Russians and we are proud,” Ismakaev said.
The U.K. government on Tuesday announced more than 300 more sanctions on Russia and Belarus over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine — bringing the number of sanctions on individuals and other entities to more than 1,000.
The E.U. meanwhile imposed sanctions on luxury goods including pure-bred horses, Champagne, pearls and diamonds as part of its bid to target oligarchs — who have become a key target for sanctions aimed at Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. The sanctions stayed clear of energy sectors.
Russia announced sanctions of its own on Tuesday that targeted President Biden, his son Hunter Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other U.S. officials.
According to Russian state-owned news agency Tass, the Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday imposed “personal sanctions against representatives of the U.S. leadership and persons associated with them.”
The sanctions, according to the report, were imposed “in response to a series of unprecedented sanctions prohibiting, among other things, entry into the United States for top officials of the Russian Federation.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Brooke Singman contributed to this report
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