Even in Russia from 24 February nothing is the same anymore

(To David Rossi)

For this article you are about to read, in Russia the author and the director would risk their lives in addition to 15 years in prison. And if it weren't for the fact that we report information from sources already in the public domain, we would also risk it outside Russia.

What we are witnessing is not only a devastating war but also the definitive transformation of an authoritarian regime, stuck in a dictatorship. The swirling rumors about the proclamation of martial law are convincing tens of thousands of Russians of the middle class wealthy, to move abroad, before the irreparable. Let's be clear: they do it with comfortable means and without having a broken heart, like the Ukrainian refugees, but they flee from the same "enemy".

This is because, the tsar, out of control for what a collaborator of President Macron present at the talks with Putin called "paranoia", since February 24, almost every day it has reduced the most basic civil rights and imposed abnormal sanctions on those who insist on exercising freedom of thought and expression.

The state censorship apparatus, Roskomnadzor (opening image), forced the media to draw only on government sources or suffer the consequences, with fines and blockades; moreover, it imposed on the press the new language to be adopted to describe the events, including the famous definition of the invasion war as spetsial'naya voyennaya operatsiya (special military operation) in line with Vladimir Putin's description.

On March XNUMX, independent radio Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) and Dohzd (Rain), the last television channel not controlled by the Kremlin, have been forced to close.

Censorship, although not yet closed, has also fallen on Novaya Gazeta, a highly influential newspaper, also due to the martyrdom of seven journalists during the "moderate" years of the Putinian regime, including Anna Politkovskaya. We recall that in October 2021, the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, Dmitry Muratov, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, together with Maria Ressa, for safeguarding freedom of expression in their homelands. Boldly, Muratov ordered the newspaper to be printed in both Russian and Ukrainian languages

No less active were the cultural ministries. On February 28, Russian teachers received detailed instructions on how to talk to students about government issues, including the war in Ukraine.

The children were indoctrinated with specially prepared propaganda cartoons.

Other institutions, such as the Mayakovsky Theater in Moscow, have been required to "refrain from any comment on the course of military action in Ukraine", warning that any negative judgment would be "considered a betrayal against the homeland".

Long is the list of blocked foreign media, including BBC News Russian, Voice of America, RFE / RL, Deutsche Welle and Meduza, as well as Facebook and Twitter. On the other hand, the list of TVs and newspapers that have withdrawn their correspondents in relation to a provision by President Putin that introduces prison sentences of up to 15 years for those who publish "knowingly false information" on the war and other government positions is very long.

There are thousands of arrests among those who protest, for now only against the war in Ukraine, with mothers and small children detained as dangerous subversive.

Today is the news, from Western intelligence sources, that Russia has begun active preparations for disconnection from the global Internet: no later than March 11, all servers and domains must be transferred to the Russian zone. In addition, detailed data on the sites' network infrastructure is being collected1.

Thinking that this tightening of state control could decrease in the short or medium term is pure utopia: neither Putin nor his "loyalists" can afford the luxury of letting the country know that Russian soldiers are wallowing in the mud with food rations that have expired for seven years. and without fuel, nor that the populations of all the Russian-speaking and culturally Russian cities of eastern Ukraine are resisting the invasion, let alone eighty years later the Russians bomb the same cities in the same way as the Germans.

The cases of billionaires forced not to leave the country are already known: soon we will see the closure of the borders to keep men of conscription age and reservists inside the country, the development of an autarchic economy and the definitive abolition of the rule of law .

In a few minutes of a televised speech, last February 24, Russia destroyed a heritage of trust painstakingly built up in the years of Perestroika and maintained, despite certain hardships of "moderate" Putin, until less than two weeks ago.

Now, after the war of conquest, terror spread among his own collaborators (see article) and the threat to use the atomic weapon, the Russians, as an educated people, administrative apparatuses and economic elites, are alone with the Tsar and his yesman, isolated from the world and regarded as pariahs. Who knows that someone will not think to ask themselves whose fault is it?