The voices from inside Russia: People are like paralyzed

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At the end of the week, Russia’s mock polls began in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine following Putin’s mobilization announcement. A development which, according to many experts, takes the war into a new, more serious phase.

In connection with the mobilization announcement, many Russians responded with extensive protests, and a thousand demonstrators have now reportedly been arrested by the country’s police. In light of this, Elin Jönsson’s new mini-documentary, Putin’s hostage – voices from within, is now being released, where she meets the Russians who dare to say what they think about the Russian regime and the war.

“We are as innocent as the Ukrainians, but it is worse for them. There is a war there, but we are also being held hostage,” says a man who figures in the documentary.

People are afraid of getting caught

Elin Jönsson is a foreign reporter and former Russia correspondent at SVT and has recently returned from Ukraine. When SVT Morgonstudion asks her how people in Russia have reacted to the developments of the past few days, she quickly replies “people are panicking”.

– It’s good in a way, because then the Russians will have realized that it’s about them. It has been quite a long period when people have felt that the war is not about them, she says.

Jönsson describes that the people she interviewed for the documentary are all against the war and feel enormous terror.

– They feel paralyzed by the fear of being caught, but also paralyzed by their powerlessness, she says.

– They feel that they don’t have time to go out. They don’t have time to gather before the police have struck and the consequences are so serious that it’s not worth it.

Hear Elin Jönsson talk about the work on the documentary and about the Russians who just want the war to be over in the video above.