“It’s important for me to say that we exist – and that there are many of us, despite everything,” emphasizes Darja Heikinen. The 18-year-old Russian doesn’t believe in Putin’s war of aggression. Like many of her fellow citizens, she took to the streets to demonstrate against the regime shortly after Russian troops invaded Ukraine last February.

After an arrest, however, she became more cautious. “You can go to prison for ten years for a wrongly formulated sentence or word in social networks,” explains the young activist. “Nevertheless, I am sure that civil society will find ways to make its opinion known.”

The fact that by no means everyone in Russia is so critical of the Kremlin is shown by the “Weltspiegel” documentary “Russia at War: Join in or remain silent?”

ARD correspondent Demian von Osten accompanied four Russians for his revealing film, including Roman Ponomaryov. The farmer is a staunch supporter of the Putin government.

On his farm in Stavropol, Ponomarev even put up a large “Z” made of straw – to show his solidarity with the troops of his homeland.

He is certain that everything that is reported on talk shows and the news about the alleged “special operation” must be true.

“I don’t understand why Ukraine is going this way,” he says. Ponomarev is firmly convinced of the Russian propaganda and believes Ukraine to be the aggressor. Little has changed in his life since the beginning of the war. Only two of his employees were drafted; According to the farmer, both men have meanwhile returned to Russia almost unharmed.

Only the new cemetery, which is only a few kilometers from Ponomarev’s farm, is reminiscent of what is currently happening in the neighboring country: there, in the young resting place, one fresh grave follows the next.

The dead are soldiers from Stavropol who – unlike Ponomaryov’s employees – did not make it back from the war alive.

In the course of the 45-minute film, one thing above all becomes clear: It is a divided country from which von Osten reports together with the filmmaker Ulrike Brinker. However, the opponents of his policies can hardly talk about the fact that they reject Putin.

The danger of being threatened by the state or other citizens is too great. The documentation shows that those who do not want to risk punishment ultimately have two options: remain silent – or leave the country.

This year, Putin gave his New Year’s speech surrounded by soldiers. But Twitter users were taken aback and recognize some faces from past propaganda videos. Above all, one woman always appears – in completely different roles.

Apparently four Himars rockets hit a Russian army military camp in the Russian-held Donetsk region at 12:01 am on January 1. Many Russian soldiers died. Now survivors and relatives tell what picture was offered.

The original of this post “The Russian population is so divided” comes from Teleschau.