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How effective is the Russian Trojan Horse in the West?

On the February 24th anniversary of the Russian attack into Ukraine, more than 100 cities in about 45 countries witnessed Russians abroad protest Putin’s war. In some cities the demonstrations lasted for several days.

But the Russian diaspora is not of one mind in condemning Russian aggression. The Kremlin-opposed turnout was modest in cities such as Paris, London, Berlin, Vilnius, Tbilisi, Belgrade, Milan and elsewhere. The relative apathy of Russian expatriates disappointed pro-democracy activists when parallel Ukrainian rallies were able to muster more sizable anti-Kremlin protesters.

In contrast to this, pro-Kremlin Russians protesting in Europe and North America typically called for a ceasefire, but also an end to military support for Ukraine, a message adopted by some US Republicans and politicians within NATO-EU countries.

It’s apparent that anti-Kremlin groups have not gained sufficient traction to dominate the Russian expatr discourse. But observers feel that the usually disunified political opposition still denies Putin the luxury of showing how all Russians are dedicated to his world-view. Any indication of disloyalty disrupts hi...

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