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Public Confidence in Russia is Down

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The world forgets that war only benefits a select few who safely sit in their ivory towers while the general population suffers. Antidepressant prescriptions soared by 70% in the first nine months of 2022. The top comment online in response to this article began with, “I am sure some Russians are good, but….”

This would be akin to the world believing Americans are inherently bad due to our government’s part in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Newsweek reported that Russians spent $81.1 million in those nine months on antidepressants. In Moscow, 1,300 packages were delivered per 10,000 adults. So 13% of the city is being treated for depression currently. RBK stated that the increase in antidepressant usage is due to war, fears of shortages, and sanctions. Antidepressant spending also increased after Putin announced a partial mobilization of troops on September 21.

A Russian public opinion fund survey found that around 70% of the population experienced anxiety after the mobilization announcement. Around 35% of participants in this particular study reported anxiety during the week of September 18, but that nearly doubled the following week to 65%.

Not every Russian citizen is lining up to die for their country, and it is safe to say most do not want war. Human nature is the same wherever you go, but overall rhetoric has demonized Russians for simply existing.

Any aspirations for a future have been put on hold as Russians are uncertain if they will be met with the full force of NATO. Grocery stores look very different today from less than a year ago, as common brands have been replaced with obscure knockoffs and some products are no longer available. Hundreds of thousands have fled their country, but they are not warmly received. It is becoming increasingly difficult for Russians to leave their homeland, and those who are forced to stay fear what is to come.