No bombs have exploded in Moscow. The city is not under siege by any foreign army. The experience of the citizens of Moscow cannot be compared with the situation in Ukraine. Life seems normal. As usual, Moscow’s Garden Ring Square is bustling with traffic. The metro station in front of me is crowded. In fact, the routine of life has not changed.
But that normal life ended on February 24 when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to conduct an operation in Ukraine in the name of a “special military operation.”
I also have experience living in communist Russia. Now the world’s largest country has changed.
Let me cover ‘Special Military Operation Russia’.
I got in the car and drove to the supermarket. Out of habit, I turned on the radio. It had a station called Echo of Moscow. Gonch was my favorite Russian radio station, the most authoritative source of information.
But in recent weeks, all independent Russian media outlets have been shut down. Now there is a state-of-the-art radio station, Sputnik, which supports Russia’s military action in Ukraine.
As I passed the Gradon Ring, I passed in front of a theater with a huge banner with the Latin letter Z on the building. Z is a symbol of Russian action on Ukraine.
There was also a huge Z sign outside the Russian railway headquarters building. When I passed a lorry, it also had a Z sticker on it. In recent weeks, it has been written on the doors of the houses of critics of the Z-Kremlin.
Business is booming in shopping malls. Many stores – international brands – have closed. Hundreds of foreign companies have suspended operations in Russia since Russian forces invaded Ukraine.
The supermarket is full of shelves. The shortage of sugar in Russia last month – the result of a panic attack – has apparently been resolved. But the product range seems smaller than before. And prices have risen over the past two months.
Outside the shopping center, I’m talking to Dr. Nadezhda.
Supermarkets are full – there is no sign of panic in the days to come after Russian troops moved into Ukraine.
“But the hardest thing is living in a society that doesn’t want to know the truth about what happened in Ukraine”. People are worried about paying off their debts. They have no interest in what is happening. But I think what is happening in Ukraine is terrible. I am ashamed to be Russian.
I drive to the Moscow Engineering Institute where I used to teach English 30 years ago.
In the early 1990’s, after the fall of Communism, my students here were full of hope that Russia and the West would establish a lasting friendship and partnership. So that the future is peaceful and prosperous.
It didn’t work
“We will overcome all our difficulties,” said Dennis, a student outside the institute. It’s always morning after sunset. ‘
“But I support my troops. They are our soldiers. I am committed to supporting my country no matter what. “My final destination is the Great War Museum, which celebrates the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. A glorious victory, achieved at a very high human cost. More than 27 million Soviets were killed in what became known as the Great Patriotic War.
What bothers me most is how the Special Military Operation has found a place in this museum, how it is being honored here.
On the museum’s website, the word ‘museum’ has been replaced by the letter Z. In the museum shop you can buy zigzags and badges with the slogan ‘Putin is my president’.
The museum is currently hosting an exhibition on the Nazis in Ukraine. This helps to disprove the Kremlin’s false claim that the Russian military is liberating Ukraine from Nazism.
This is Russia’s ‘special military operation’. A parallel universe, where aggression means freedom, where aggression is defended and where critics are traitors.
It seems that Russia, which I have known for the last 30 years, is no more.