· law and order · 2 min read

Why Russians tolerate Putin

How best end the war in Ukraine?

How best end the war in Ukraine?

Yesterday, thousands of Russians gathered at Alex Navalny’s funeral. There was a high chance they were to end up in a holding cell, beaten up by riot police or worse. They were risking their lives and the careers of their relatives. Yet they went anyway. These are all extremely brave people. The tip of an iceberg.

I believe many more brave Russians would protest - if only they saw a light at the end of the tunnel. Russians don’t fear Putin. They know he could be gone in minutes, just like the other dictators before him. Russians fear what could come after Putin - a collapse of the Russian Federation. A civil war. A meat grinder of Ukraine multiplied by ten.

”The West” can do a lot right now, to minimize the chance of such hell on Earth.

  • Keep explaining to the ordinary Russians that “the West” doesn’t want their destruction (as Putin keeps claiming). A strong democratic Russian Federation, with good opportunities for foreign investors, would suit other democratic countries much better than a war-torn wasteland.

  • Support the formation of a “Russian shadow cabinet in exile”. This cabinet could pre-agree with the Ukrainian government reasonable terms of ending the war. They could plan out an orderly transition to democracy.

After all their difficult history, Russians deserve their Velvet Revolution, and Ukrainians deserve peace and prosperity.

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