No shots were fired in Moscow. No other country’s troops have besieged the city. The people of Moscow do not have to bear the brunt of the terrible conditions in which the people of Ukraine are living.
At first glance, it seems that everything is going well in Moscow. But is it true at all? The BBC’s Steve Rosenberg, a senior journalist and resident of Moscow, has sought to shed light on the current situation in Moscow.
In a report published on the BBC on Friday, Steve Rosenberg said: Right in front of me, people are coming out of the subway station.
But in reality, nothing in this city is more normal now than it was two months ago. Normal life in Russia ended on February 24 – the day Vladimir Putin ordered his army to launch a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Rosenberg has been living in Moscow for a long time. He has been there since the Soviet era. “I have seen Communist Russia up close,” he told the BBC. I have also seen the changes that Russia has gone through since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Now the world’s largest country has begun to change again.
Rosenberg shared his one-day experience with the BBC, explaining in detail what had changed. He said, ‘(Yesterday) I got in the car to go to a supermarket. I left the car radio as usual. The radio is tuned to 91.2 FM. At one time it was a wave of Radio Echo of Moscow — my favorite radio station, providing reliable news.
But in the last few weeks, all independent media in Russia have been either blocked or shut down. The state-run radio Sputnik now runs on 91.2 FM, which is a big supporter of the Russian attack on Ukraine.
The English letter Z everywhere
While driving through the Garden Ring, I passed a theater hall and saw a huge ‘Z’ letter hanging in front of the hall, which now symbolizes the Russian military campaign.
A similar Z has been set up outside the Russian railway headquarters. A truck passed by me; It has a Z sticker on it. ‘
Rosenberg added that in the past few weeks, stickers with the letter have been placed on the walls of the homes of many people known as critics of the Kremlin.
‘The shopping mall I went to didn’t have much of a crowd. Most stores of foreign brands are closed. Hundreds of foreign companies have suspended operations in Russia since the start of the military operation in Ukraine.
The doctor’s salary is insufficient
Arriving at the supermarket, Rosenberg sees that there is no shortage of things; All the shelves are crammed. The sugar crisis, created by fears in the market last month, seems to have subsided.
But not as much as it used to be in stores a few months ago. He realized that the prices of goods had also gone up in the last two months.
‘Outside the shopping mall, I was talking to Nadeeddar, a doctor by profession. He told me that the prices of daily necessities have gone up so much that it is no longer possible for him to get a monthly salary.
Nadezhda told Rosenberg that although public concern over the early days of the military operation in Ukraine had now subsided, he always felt guilty about the war.
‘It is very painful to live in a society that does not want to know what is really happening in Ukraine. People are worried about mortgaging their homes, worried about repaying bank loans. They seem to have no worries about what’s going on around him. As a Russian, I am ashamed, “said Nadezhda.
From the shopping mall I headed to the Moscow Institute of Engineering where I taught English 30 years ago.
After the fall of communism in the early 1990’s, my students here were very optimistic that a relationship of closeness and cooperation would now be established between Russia and the Western world. They hoped that their future would be one of peace and prosperity.
But in reality it did not happen.
‘We will overcome this crisis. A new morning will come again after sunset ‘, said Dennis, a student of that engineering institute.
‘But I stand by our troops. They are our soldiers. In any case, it is my responsibility to support the country.
“My final destination that day in Moscow was the huge military museum where the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II began,” Rosenberg told the BBC.
World War II killed 26 million Soviet citizens. The war was seen as a symbol of Russian sacrifice for the motherland.
But Rosenberg is uneasy about the way Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine is being portrayed at the museum.
He said the word “museum” has been changed to day (Z) instead of “s” on the museum’s website. Inside the museum, Z-written mugs are being sold in souvenir shops related to World War II. “Putin is my president” is selling badges where the word “president” is spelled “Z” instead of “S”.
“Not only that, there is now a special exhibition of Nazis in Ukraine at that museum in Moscow. Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine with the slogan “Freedom from the Nazis”.
Rosenberg told the BBC that an alternative parallel narrative of Ukraine’s “special military operation” was being presented to the Russian people, with aggression being branded as a liberation struggle and self-defense, with critics of the government being branded “traitors”.
“I feel that Russia, which I have known for 30 years, no longer exists.”