The face of another Russia? My thoughts on the TV Rain situation
Russian liberal media in Russia's war against Ukraine are more likely to help Putin than fight him
Russian liberals say that the closure of TV Rain (also known by its Russian name, Dozhd) is a tragedy.
It is clear that this is a personal tragedy of people who have lost funding. They cannot return to Russia because they will be imprisoned there. And in Europe, they need to look for another source of funding and another home. This is very unpleasant and uncomfortable. And from a human point of view, for these people, this is a personal tragedy. No question about that.
But their position is something else: that this is a tragedy for the anti-Putin front and for the fight against Russia. This is actually rather funny, because there is no reason to think that TV Rain or other Russian liberals are helping to contain Putin in any way. Or at least somehow help stop the war. Yes, they always talk about it. But the question is how?
Can Russian liberal media influence the situation in Russia itself? Can they organize protests? Can organize sabotage of the war effort or mobilization? No. They don't even try very hard. Even if they did try, they still couldn't. Moreover, they themselves sincerely believe that Putin is great, and that he always wins. And if they cannot interfere with Putin, if they cannot help in any way in countering Russian aggression, then why are they needed at all? Why are they needed in the confrontation with Russia? How can they help Ukraine in the fight against Putin, in the fight against Russia? After all, they are sincerely rooting for Russia.
Russian liberals continue to associate themselves with Russia, trying to prove that it is they and Pushkin who are Russia, and not Putin and Kadyrov, and that as soon as Putin is removed, everyone will again become kind little Russians. But they won’t.
Showing the face of another Russia? Well, firstly, as we can see, the face is not so different from the other. This face still continues to associate itself with the "Great Country," with the "Motherland" and "our boys" who are suffering. I can just imagine Remarque sitting and writing articles about the suffering of a simple German soldier near Stalingrad, and that it is very necessary to organize an humanitarian air bridge so that they eat better and not freeze there, in Stalingrad.
Russian liberals, based on their selfish financial interests, manipulate the idea that by removing them from the air, the West is playing into Putin’s hands. But it isn’t. Yes, these people would be Putin's enemies in Russia, though they would most likely just be like annoying little crumbs in his bed which are little seen and little noticed. But this “other Russia” does not interfere with Putin inside Russia at all now, and their activities in the West do not cause him discomfort at all. How, then, are they interfering with him?
And here another problem arises, for when speaking about the face of another Russia, these folks have always been trying to point out the unfairness of sanctions and the harmfulness of Russophobia. Transferring, at the same time, the responsibility for the war from Russia and the Russian population to the collective West. Do the liberal Russian media here help to fight Russia and Putin, with military aggression? No. The opposite, even. They interfere. They are trying to sow doubt among our allies. Their efforts could weaken support for Ukraine, reduce sanctions pressure, and limit the supply of weapons to Ukraine.
Thus, in the war with Russia, the Russian liberal media are more likely to help Putin to help the fight against him. In the second case, they can't help. They can only advance Putin’s agenda. And yes, while ideologically they are Putin’s opponents, they remain the same Russian chauvinists who paint Crimea as part of Russia and demand that those in Latvia speak Russian with them.
Thus, Russian liberals confuse their interest with the interests of fighting Putin. These are not the same. Dreaming of a beautiful Russia of the future, which, most likely, will never exist, they help the terrible Russia of the present, the empire of the past, to kill Ukrainians.
The war leaves no room for half-heartedness. There is no gray now. There is only black and white. And any compromises with the dark side automatically put you on the dark side.
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