Common Russian mindset about War

Commoners opinion of ordinary russian mindset

West has always underestimated the ordinary russian’s ability to endure suffering and the russian leadership’s willingness to sacrifice them.

Common people in Russia have quite poor life quality compared to western countries.

After talking to many of them and asking how they feel about this even with such vast natural resources compared to places like Finland for example. Most of them respond with anger, hate and threats of violence, but not towards their government but to people asking those questions and people living in the west.

The thing is that they know they live worse than people in the west, they know the corruption of their own country. But owning up to your mistakes or recognizing your own faults has never been part of the russian culture. The reason for their suffering must be the fault of others, and as we know its easy to blame foreigners. Furthermore they see their country still as a superpower, for that’s what the government has told them and it was true 40 years ago. So the idea of them being a superpower is what holds their worldview together. If they are no longer a super power they are nothing, they have less than others, and that would be destructive as status and power has always been a core part of what is valued in russian culture.

Violence is just coping

Now the hate and violence comes into picture because its a coping mechanism. As that is what a superpower can do, assert dominance through violence. Because that is the only thing they have that others don’t. They don’t want their suffering and misery to be in vain. If you ask what they have, they answer “the ability to take your happiness away” because that’s all they have. If West says they are not afraid or ask why they are doing poorly for no apparent reason, their self image is being questioned. Their suffering and sacrifice becomes questioned. Having the image of being a superpower gives them meaning and identity in their lives.
The problem russians face when questioned is they cannot comprehend how others can have much better life without being a superpower, because that would require them to face the mistakes and failures of their own country. So they cope with anger and violence.

Russia vs the world

Now this is a core part to understand when dealing with russia in the context of world politics. Until russians have better life quality than others they wont stop blaming others for their mistakes. The leadership will rather use force and violence to upkeep their delusions of being a super power than to improve and face the reality. The common people are willing to sacrifice for their delusions to continue “For I have suffered why shouldn’t they”.  You should never feed someone’s delusions as they will just grow stronger and more arrogant. If they cannot face reality or improve their self image, they’ll continue to blame others for their own misery and will try to drag others down to not feel worse. For russians they firmly believe they will win any war of attrition against “weak western values”. So if they keep believing they can get away with using violence, they will keep doing it.