It is gradually dawning on Russian commentators that the war is not going to plan – and that Moscow’s attempts to invade Ukraine are not a good idea.
Russia originally believed it could take Ukraine’s capital Kyiv in a matter of days. More than six months later, Moscow only holds onto around a sixth of Ukraine, and has lost a substantial number of troops.
Even so, Russian pundits calling out the suppression of Ukraine as a country are still in the minority – as the Daily Beast’s Julia Davis noted on Twitter.
She captioned the clip as an “Are We The Baddies?” moment between the pundits, one of the commentators claiming suddenly “realizes he is in the company of actual Nazis”.
During the two-minute clip Davis shared on her Twitter, one Russian commentator – filmmaker Karen Shakhnazarov – pointed out that Moscow needs to admit Ukrainian people do exist.
Immediately, other pundits disagreed, and said Ukraine didn’t exist as a people before the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Another person claimed recognizing the individuality of Ukrainians was “the biggest mistake in our Soviet history”.
Then, a few figures on the all-male panel suggest that Ukrainian is not a language, but a “southern-Russian dialect”.
It’s only then that pundit Alexander Sosnovsky chimed in, asking: “Why would you say something stupid like that? Of course there is a Ukrainian language.”
Another person also says it’s “not correct” for Russians to be talking about Ukrainians not existing.
Sosnovsky then interjects again, with his arms crossed, saying: “Guys, this is clear-cut nationalism. We can’t do this, turning all of that nation’s population against us. Why are we doing this?”
It had more than 300,000 views within 12 hours of being posted by Davis.
“Are We The Baddies?” moment on Russian TV: one pundit—responding to his genocidal colleagues, who assert that Ukrainian nationality and language do not exist—suddenly realizes he is in the company of actual Nazis and says, “This is clear cut nationalism.”https:// t.co/9If9zMLrn2 pic.twitter.com/qZUX0etGlL
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 14, 2022
Russia has justified its invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” to take down the “neo-Nazis” in government there, although there has been no evidence to back up such a claim.
Many believe Moscow wants to reclaim Ukraine to stop it from becoming too closely aligned with the rest of the west, including the EU and Nato.
Ukraine has accused Russia of committing genocide against the country ever since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion in February.
US President Joe Biden also dubbed the Russian acts of brutality against Ukrainian citizens genocide back in April, while then-prime minister Boris Johnson said the massacre on Ukrainian city of Bucha were not “short of genocide”.
A report from more than 30 internationally recognized scholars also came to the same conclusion back in May, explaining that there were “reasonable grounds to conclude” Russia was already breaching the 1948 Genocide Convention.