'Primitive and very cruel': Local Russia communities react to ongoing war in Ukraine

Members of the local Russian community are speaking out against Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine that continues to rage on under the specter of nuclear war.

Vitaly Rachmaninov, the publisher of a Russian circular distributed in local communities, labeled Russia's invasion of Ukraine "very primitive and very cruel." He harkened Putin's rhetoric to the Soviet-era. 

 "I think it's complete awful propaganda from the Soviet Union and Stalin's time," Rachmaninov said. 

Russian forces escalated their attacks on crowded urban areas Tuesday, bombarding the central square in Ukraine’s second-biggest city and Kyiv's main TV tower in what the country's president called a blatant campaign of terror.

"Nobody will forgive. Nobody will forget," President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed after the bloodshed on the square in Kharkiv.

Ukrainian and Russian delegations met Monday on Ukraine’s border with Belarus. The meeting ended with no immediate reports of agreements, but Mykhailo Podolyak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said further talks could take place "in the near future."

Foreign policy expert Dr. Yuri Polsky, formerly of West Chester University, said he went through a number of diplomatic scenarios that he believes could bring an end to the war. Among them includes tightening sanctions. 

The United States and European Union have levied sanctions on Russia’s biggest banks and its elite, frozen the assets of the country’s Central Bank located outside the country, and excluded its financial institutions from the SWIFT bank messaging system — but have largely allowed its oil and natural gas to continue to flow freely to the rest of the world. 

Rachmaninov and Polsky agreed that opinions among Russians tend to very, but most are in agreement that Putin is a war criminal and diplomacy is imperative to ending the conflict.

The U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday that about 660,000 people have fled Ukraine for neighboring countries since the invasion began. Agency spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo said "at this rate, the situation looks set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century."




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