Russians, who on average like state media and distrust both independent Russian and especially international news sources, are now living in a practically hermetically sealed propaganda bubble. Since the invasion began Russian state media has unfailingly presented the invasion of Ukraine as a ‘special military operation’ meant to librate Ukraine of Nazis. With most Russians getting their news from state media, observers have expressed alarm that many believe the dubious broadcasts of Putin’s domestic propaganda machine.
Do most Russians know that not only President Zelenskyy is jewish but he also lost family in the Holocaust? Probably not. Do they know that the far-right in Ukraine, including any political parties with ties to neo-nazi groups, occupy less than 1% of seats in the Ukrainian parliament? Probably not.
Most Russians probably hold the same unfounded beliefs as the Russian soldiers who opened fire on Tetyana Vlasenko's car as her family was fleeing Ukraine on March 8th. Suffering from 12 bullet wounds to her legs, the 42 year old Ukrainian mom begged the Russians who fired upon her family for help.
The soldiers gave the family first aid, and as Tetyana recalls from a hospitfcal bed in Kyiv, apologetically said, "I’m sorry for doing this but we have an order to shoot everything that is moving, and you cannot how image how many cars like this we have full of Nazis who are trying to bomb us."