Reuters: The war in Ukraine evokes opposite emotions, some feel pride, others fear

Reuters: The war in Ukraine evokes opposite emotions, some feel pride, others fear

Reuters: War in Ukraine evokes mixed emotions, some feel ; pride, others fear

Illustrative photo – The body of a girl killed during the Russian bombing of Mariupol in a local hospital.

Moscow – The war in Ukraine evoked completely different emotions in two Russian women, both coincidentally named Ekaterina. One supports President Vladimir Putin and expects victory, while the other criticizes Putin and thinks Russia will lose, Reuters wrote.

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Reuters: The war in Ukraine evokes opposite emotions, some feel pride, others fear

Reuters: The war in Ukraine evoked mixed emotions, some felt pride, others fear

Reuters: The war in Ukraine caused opposite emotions, some feel pride, others fear

Reuters: The war in Ukraine evoked mixed emotions, some felt pride, others fear

A year after the Russian president sent his troops into Ukraine, it is still difficult to know what 145 million Russians even think about the war. However, official opinion polls say Putin's approval rating remains around 80 percent.

Yekaterina, 38, is a Putin supporter and believes Russia will eventually win, even though she is now fighting Ukraine, which is backed by the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Her apartment in southern Moscow is filled with bags of donated clothes and boxes of food she collected to send to Russian-controlled Donbass, where the war has left many homeless.

“When my friend went to fight as a volunteer, I understood that I also had to do something to help,” said Yekaterina, who did not want to reveal her last name for fear of being harassed by supporters of Ukraine on the Internet. “We have to help defend our country, our families, those close to us, and all of Russia,” she added, adding that she supports President Putin and the way he is leading the country.

According to a survey by the independent non-governmental Levada Center 75 percent of Russians support the Russian military, while 19 percent do not support it and six percent don't know. Three-quarters of Russians also expect Russia to win. However, many diplomats and analysts question these numbers.

“I support the president and I think he is doing his job well,” said Ekaterina. “Russia will win. Definitely,” she added.

Only ten kilometers south of here lives another Ekaterina, who has a completely opposite opinion on the whole situation. Twenty-six-year-old Ekaterina Varenikova, who once worked for the state-controlled gas giant Gazprom, hates war and publicly opposes Putin.

When the Russians launched an air raid on Ukraine's Dnipro in January, she stood in front of a Moscow statue of Ukrainian poet Lesya Ukrainka with a banner “Ukrainians are not our enemies, they are our brothers”.

Her apartment is empty. She sold everything or stored it in the basement while she packed to leave Russia for Kyrgyzstan, where her husband already lives. He left Moscow already last year, soon after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Varenikova remembers how shocked she was when she first heard that the war had started last February. Like many other Russians, she has always maintained close family and friendship relations with many people across the former post-Soviet countries. She remembers going to Ukraine on vacation as a child. Now her family is divided by several closed borders and impassable front lines.

She spent 12 days in detention after the January protest.

“Many of my friends left,” says Varenikov√°. “When you are in danger and you don't want to take part in these events, you have to use all means to escape,” she added.

Soon after the war began, Putin warned Russians to be vigilant when it came to Russian ” traitors”, which, according to him, the West will try to use to destroy the country. Many people have left the country, and some Russian officials have expressed concern. Others dismissed these concerns, saying that Russia is now much more united without those whose “loyalty to the country is questionable”. . “I think it will only end when Russia either admits defeat or loses,” he adds. In her opinion, the reputation of Russia and Russians will be tarnished forever. “We in Russia will probably never be able to fix it,” he concludes.