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03/05/2022

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First, I wanted to thank Misha for providing insight into the support that Russians have for the war. It is both surprising to me and reassuring that 88% of Russians favor maintaining friendly relationships with Ukraine.

One thing I wanted to comment on was how the "threat of repression, as well as the economic decay, is provoking a mass exodus of anti-war, globalist Russians." I thought that was really interesting and telling of the support for the war, whether it's due to anti-war beliefs or fear of the impact of the war against their livelihood.

This article from The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/03/people-leaving-russia-ukraine-war) reports that Russians or people living in Russia are seeking to leave, due to the economic uncertainties. Another critical reason is due to rumors that Russia could enact Martial law. As the article mentions, this would be unprecedented in modern Russian history, and could result in "mass mobilization of the male population as well as the closure of borders, according to an official document describing the law." The article also provides some first hand accounts of Russians who left, with one man being questioned extensively by Russian officials. Although there is already a limited number of flights due to restrictions, it will be interesting to see if Russia imposes other measures to prevent their citizens from leaving the country or will follow through with the threat of Martial law.

This is a truly thought provoking article and assessment of the current situation we find ourselves globally. I am of the mind that this war will ultimately lessen Putin's grip on power. I completely agree with your comment "One could expect that the support for the war would plummet and the regime collapse as the Russian soldiers' death toll, war crime reports, and effects of sanctions accumulate". The way that the West has rallied around a comprehensive strategy was likely not part of the calculus for Putin.

I do think this war challenges the concept of liberal peace theory. We have other nations hesitant to condemn the war because of the economic ties to Russia or not wanting to call out Putin's politics for fear of having their own governments called out. It will be challenging journey for the people caught up in this conflict and one that will likely take a long time to resolve if it ever does.

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