Will Vernon Profile picture
Mar 18 6 tweets 2 min read
🧵 This is the picture the Kremlin wants you to see: thousands of people who support President Putin and the "special military operation" in Ukraine, crammed into Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. We went there today and talked to dozens of people who attended... 🧵
Many said they worked in the public sector (e.g. schoolteachers), and that they had been pressured into attending by their employers. One group of teachers, from a town near Moscow, were being told what to say to us by a woman who appeared to be from the local administration.
One man, who works in the Moscow metro, told us that he and other employees had been forced to attend the rally. "I'll be here for a while and then I'll leave… I think most people here don't support the war. I don't," he said.
In comparison to opposition rallies, most people didn't want to talk, be filmed or answer any questions. Some would cover their faces or put up their hoods when we said we are journalists. Many seemed embarrassed or ashamed to be there.
Students told us they had been given the option of a day off from lectures if they attended 'a concert.' Some of them didn't even know that the event was dedicated, in part, to support for Russian forces in Ukraine.
There were doubtless some people in attendance who genuinely support President Putin and the "special military operation in Ukraine", as the Kremlin prefers to call it.

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