April 24, 2022

What the Invasion Means for Russians


What the Invasion Means for Russians
Putin addresses a crowd at a rally, March 18, 2022. Above him appear the words "We don't abandon our own." Sputnik News, an affiliate of the Russian state.

The news out of Ukraine is shocking. Refugees on the run from their homes, starving pets, and tales of war crimes. Ukraine and its people are victims, and they're fighting bravely despite overwhelming odds.

Yet the Russian populace doesn't appear to have a happy immediate future either.

Hundreds of thousands of citizens have fled abroad, typically those with the means, diplomas, and skills to allow them to do so, applying their talents away from their homeland. Sanctions on imports mean that Russia will have to grow almost all of its own food. Russian athletes are barred from competing in some sports. Most international airlines have stopped all inbound and outbound flights, and Boeing and Airbus have repossessed all aircraft operated by Russian carriers, forcing them to rely on domestic and Chinese-built craft (although the winds are shifting away from that direction, too).

But what does this mean for the everyday Russian? Interviews with locals shed some light. 

Medical supplies manufactured in Germany, like replacement joints, medication, or dental disinfectants, can no longer be imported. Car parts can longer be imported, so it may be time to invest in a poorer-quality local build. Food quality and variety will worsen to whatever can be grown within the borders of Russia and its friendly neighbors. And with the current sentence of fifteen years for speaking out, journalists and protesters have had to be furtive.

All the progress of Russia's globalization for the past thirty years has been erased in a matter of weeks. Russia is backtracking: this level of closure and isolation hasn't been seen since Soviet times. And at the end of the day, the Russian people themselves will suffer.

You Might Also Like

This is How the War Ends
  • March 09, 2022

This is How the War Ends

Those in power need to seek a way to end the war that could be agreed to by Ukraine, Russia, Europe, and the US. It seems a tall order, but really it’s not that hard to envision.
Annihilating Mariupol: When is it a War Crime?
  • March 31, 2022

Annihilating Mariupol: When is it a War Crime?

At least eighty percent of Mariupol has been destroyed or damaged. An account of what has happened in the city through the eyes of two refugees – Alla, 87 years old, and Denis Hulai, 24 – both of whom managed to escape with their families.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955