Brian Reade says Russians born after the Soviet era have no interest in occupied territories until they are even born
Image: Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
I had an absolute ball four years ago in Kyiv.
Partying in Shevchenko Park, drinking in cool basement bars, marveling at the gorgeous architecture and mingling with friendly locals excited to host a Champions League final was an unforgettable experience.
To see this once vibrant city and its proud residents under siege today is heartbreaking. Looking at footage of deserted streets bursting with energy and optimism evokes deep anger at Russia.
Or rather the twisted KGB mafia that rules this country. Not his people.
Two months after my visit to Kyiv, I was covering the World Cup in Russia and was surprised by the hospitality of the people who I thought would spit at the British because our governments were at each other’s throats after the Salisbury poisoning. But I was wrong. You were brilliant.
I was the only foreigner watching the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia in a bar in a rough area of Samara and was showered with free vodka the whole time. When the defeat ended their World Cup dream, the locals gave me a hug and promised to support England in the semi-finals.
I’ve spoken to many of the young, bilingual volunteers in the fan zones who have been learning about British football teams, our cities, music and culture. Many said they wanted to come here and study.
They’re the kind of Russians who openly protest Putin’s despicable war, or who would be if they weren’t afraid of beatings or jail. We should not confuse people with despots.
And they are the ones who will eventually overthrow their deluded dictator. Russia’s young people are not interested in what territory the Soviet empire occupied before they were born. They have tasted a form of democracy and liberalism and see it as their future. They want to belong to the rest of the world.
It will hit young Russians hard that they have become global sports pariahs, with their country barred from participating in competitions like the Champions League and the World Cup.
The Kremlin should be pleased that music acts such as Iggy Pop, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Green Day, Nick Cave and Yungblud have withdrawn from upcoming concerts and universities in the West are cutting exchange programs.
They may see it as an anti-capitalist victory that Hollywood has halted all film releases in Russia, Netflix has paused all projects there, Apple has retired its iPhones, Nike has stopped selling online, Asos has shut down operations and the big fashion labels are considering to follow this example.
But most Russians don’t. And most young Russians will not accept it. Sergey Faldin, a Russian writer based in Georgia, blogged this week about the “great gulf” in opinions between those like him who were born in the 1990s and those who lived under Soviet rule.
Many older Russians swallow Putin’s lies, he wrote, but younger ones see through them. He concluded: “When the money runs out, so will Putin’s watch. And we, the new generation of Russians, will wait.”
Putin will not be defeated by taking superyachts away from his buddies, but by taking away football, music, cinema, fashion and the opportunity to travel and educate abroad from those who won’t accept their freedoms.
Eventually it will be the younger generation that will bring down the old guard. For the good of all, this can’t come soon enough.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/young-russians-no-time-evil-26386754 "Young Russians have no time for the babble of evil Soviet-era Vladimir Putin" - Brian Reade - World News