The stream of anti-war letters to a lawmaker in St. Petersburg, Russia, has dried up. Some Russians who had criticized the Kremlin have turned into cheerleaders for the war. Those who publicly oppose it have found the word "traitor” scrawled on their apartment door.
Five weeks into President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, there are signs that the Russian public’s initial shock has given way to a mix of support for their troops and anger at the West. On television, entertainment shows have been replaced by extra helpings of propaganda, resulting in a round-the-clock barrage of falsehoods about the "Nazis” who run Ukraine and American-funded Ukrainian bioweapons laboratories.
Polls and interviews show that many Russians now accept Putin’s contention that their country is under siege from the West and had no choice but to attack. The war’s opponents are leaving the country or keeping quiet.