Voices inside Russia | DW Documentary

Reports from within Russian society have become a rare thing lately. This documentary provides profound insights into the private lives of families whose menfolk are fighting in a war that can’t be described as such. It’s a conflict that’s driven by propaganda.

“Pro-War / Anti-War – Voices Inside Russia” shows unpublished footage from a nation that’s become far less accessible to foreign media since Russian troops invaded Ukraine. The families interviewed in the documentary live in the regions of Tver and Pskov in northwestern Russia. They have been dragged into a war that according to Russian state propaganda cannot be described as such.

These families have sent their sons, brothers and husbands to fight in what is being officially described as a “fratricidal struggle with another Slavic people”. Their motivations vary: in some cases, they are financial and in others, ideological. Upon returning from the front, or between deployments, the soldiers relate their terrible experiences as part of the “military special operations.” Their mission, as presented to them by Putin, was the liberation of a populace supposedly repressed by the fascist regime of Ukraine. But on the ground, it quickly became apparent that the ‘mission’ was propaganda, and a lie. In addition, the army’s inadequate preparation soon became clear to the Russian soldiers. They also witnessed war crimes committed against Ukrainian civilians, carried out on the orders of their superiors. The soldiers return from the frontline shocked and plagued with doubts over the legitimacy of Russia’s presence in Ukraine and how the war will end.

“Frankly, I think we’re losing,” is the disillusioned view of a young soldier returning home to the garrison town of Pskov. While some admit to the failures of the Putin regime, others find justifications for this entrenched conflict and remain under the influence of the official propaganda machine.

The documentary reveals a Russian society gripped by an identity crisis. The filmmaker has been following the fortunes of the families since 24 February, the start of the Russian invasion.

For security reasons, the author must remain anonymous. #documentary #dwdocumentary #russia

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