The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Russians snitch on Russians who oppose war with Soviet-style denunciations

By Robyn Dixon

27 May 2023 · 7 min read

informed Summary

  1. Citizens are policing one another in an echo of the darkest years of Stalin's repression.

MOSCOW - Parishioners have denounced Russian priests who advocated peace instead of victory in the war on Ukraine. Teachers lost their jobs after children tattled that they opposed the war. Neighbors who bore some trivial grudge for years have snitched on longtime foes. Workers rat on one another to their bosses or directly to the police or the FSB, the Federal Security Service.

This is the hostile, paranoid atmosphere of Russians at war with Ukraine and with one another. As Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime cracks down on critics of the war and other political dissenters, citizens are policing one another in an echo of the darkest years of Joseph Stalin's repression, triggering investigations, criminal charges, prosecutions and dismissals from work.

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