Western states should close entry for Russians and send those who left to Russia. This opinion was expressed by Vladimir Zelensky. According to the Ukrainian leader, it makes sense to extend such a sanction to all Russians without exception, including those who do not support the special operation. The Kremlin called any attempts to isolate citizens of the Russian Federation unpromising, and the European Commission noted that the EU legislation does not have a procedure for banning the issuance of visas. According to experts, Zelensky is once again turning to the West with absolutely unrealistic demands.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Western countries to close entry for all Russians. Such a sanction would have a strong impact on Russia’s top leadership, he said in an interview with The Washington Post.
“You (Russians. — RT) tell the whole world that it must live by your rules. So go and live there (in Russia. – RT). This is the only way to influence Putin,” Zelensky said.
According to the Ukrainian leader, this restrictive measure will be “the most important” in relation to Russia – in comparison with it, all the anti-Russian sanctions imposed are too “weak”.
According to Zelensky, the West should not make exceptions for those Russians who do not agree with the policy of official Moscow.
“Whatever Russians we are talking about … make sure that they return to Russia,” Zelensky said.
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As The Washington Post recalls, it has become much more difficult for Russian citizens to visit Western countries. After the start of the special operation, Russian airlines were banned from flying over most of Europe and North America.
The procedure for issuing visas for trips to the United States and EU countries has become noticeably more complicated for Russians. Nevertheless, a complete ban on visits by citizens of the Russian Federation to all Western states was not introduced.
To date, only Estonia has supported Zelensky’s call. As the Prime Minister of the Baltic Republic Kaja Kallas explained in social networks, “visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right.”
The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, called Callas’s statement “terry nationalism”, which was covered up by Europe. According to her, what is happening is “part of the policy to implement hatred for Russia.”
“This is terry nationalism, which is many hundreds of years old, which was covered in different ways, called and camouflaged. Now, for those who looked at it from the outside, the veil has fallen – and all the scenery with which Europe covered this nationalism has fallen, ”the Kompaniya edition quotes Zakharova.
Earlier, Bulgaria and Latvia announced the suspension of the acceptance of documents for tourist visas. The latter is ready to let Russians in only for the funeral of a close relative.
At the same time, EU legislation does not contain a procedure for banning visas, the European Commission explained to journalists on August 9. And the issue of visas is in the competence of the EU countries.
Checkpoint on the Russian-Ukrainian border
© Valery Morev
The Ukrainian authorities themselves have not yet imposed a total travel ban on Russians. Since July 1, Ukraine has a unilateral visa regime for citizens of the Russian Federation. In the near future, Zelensky must decide on a petition that bans Russians from entering Ukraine for 50 years. It appeared on the website of the office of the Ukrainian President on May 23 and in early August received more than 25,000 votes required for consideration by the head of state.
Russia has criticized Zelensky’s statement about the closure of borders. In an interview with journalists, the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, called any attempts to isolate Russian citizens futile. According to the Kremlin speaker, the irrationality in the thinking of the Ukrainian authorities “goes off scale.”
“Any attempts to isolate Russians or isolate Russia is a process that has no prospects, the odor of such initiatives is also not very good, to say the least,” Peskov said.
Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, spoke more sharply in his Telegram channel.
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“The main Ukrainian clown proposed to “call the entire population of Russia to account.” The last time Adolf Hitler tried to implement such ideas in relation to an entire nation. Any more questions about the nature of Ukrainian power?” Medvedev wrote.
In an interview with RT, Alexei Chepa, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, said that Zelensky “completely broke away from the reality of the world around him” in an effort to get the West to impose more effective sanctions.
“It speaks of a certain hopelessness. Zelensky no longer knows what to do, and he himself does not believe in the effectiveness of the sanctions. He hoped that everything would change, but nothing happens. And if he hopes that for the Russians this is (a ban on visiting Western countries. – RT) will become the main cause of discontent within the country, then he is deeply mistaken,” Chepa said.
As the head of the Department of Political Science and Sociology of the Russian University of Economics named after G.V. Plekhanov Andrey Koshkin, Zelensky first of all demonstrated his hatred of the Russian people with his appeal.
“Zelensky defiantly did not separate even those Russians who do not support the special operation. For him, all people with Russian passports should be responsible for state policy. And if they don’t go to opposition rallies now, they automatically become enemies,” the expert explained the logic of the Ukrainian president.
Koshkin recalled that shortly before February 24 and after the start of the special operation, Zelensky behaved differently, trying to “more accurately” persuade part of Russian society to the side of the Kyiv regime.
“Zelensky did not put an equal sign between the policy of the Russian state and the entire Russian people. Using his acting skills, he wanted to speculate “on the image of a victim of aggression” in this way, thereby arousing the sympathy of the opposition and supporting their subsequent protest actions, ”says Koshkin.
So, shortly before the start of the special operation, Zelensky appealed to the Russians with an appeal to persuade the Russian authorities to sit down with him at the negotiating table, preventing the entry of troops into Ukraine.
On February 24, when the Russian army launched the first strikes on the facilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Zelensky called on the citizens of the Russian Federation to take part in protests against the special operation.
“If you hear us, if you understand us, if you understand that you are attacking an independent country, please go out to the squares, address the president of your country,” Zelensky said.
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Two days later, the Ukrainian leader thanked some Russian cultural figures for criticizing the special operation and calling for them to take to the streets. During a briefing on March 6, Zelensky again called on the Russians to “not be silent” and provide all possible support to Kyiv.
“Citizens of Russia, for you this is a struggle not only for peace in Ukraine. This is a fight for your country too,” Zelensky added.
On March 12, in an address to “thinking Russians,” the President of Ukraine said that the Russian Federation could return to the “dashing 90s” if it did not change its policy. According to Zelensky, “because of propagandists, most Russians do not understand what awaits them.” He also called on the citizens of the Russian Federation to learn to “resist the repressions” that the authorities allegedly intend to carry out.
After that, Zelensky began to appeal to the Russians less often. On March 27, in an interview with a number of Russian media, the Ukrainian leader admitted that the majority of Russian citizens support the actions of their authorities.
In an interview with RT, Associate Professor at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, RIAC expert Dmitry Yezhov suggested that with his rhetoric Zelensky expected to provoke a large-scale protest movement that would split society, but this “simple plan failed.”
“Apparently, Zelensky hoped that the unprecedented sanctions pressure from the West and his calls would influence the opinion of Russians about the special operation. This did not happen, and now officially Ukraine is trying to do everything possible and impossible to make life difficult for Russian citizens, regardless of their political views, ”says Yezhov.
According to the results of opinion polls conducted by VTsIOM specialists, the overwhelming majority of Russian citizens continue to support the special operation.
© Alexander Kryazhev
So, at the end of February, 68% of Russians approved of it, 22% opposed it. At the end of June, the proportion of respondents who support SVO reached 72%. The number of citizens of the Russian Federation condemning the hostilities conducted by the allied forces has decreased to 17%.
“The understanding of the goals of the special operation also remains stable. According to 38% of citizens, the NVO aims to protect Russia, disarm Ukraine and prevent the deployment of NATO military bases on its territory, ”the VTsIOM materials emphasize.
Experts stated that the strong and stable support of the special operation from the Russian society to a large extent irritates Kyiv.
“Of course, the Ukrainian elite is not satisfied that the Russians approve of the special operation. Inside the country there is a strong rear, the support of society, and in Kyiv, it seems to me, they don’t know what else to require measures to prevent a military catastrophe, ”Ezhov believes.
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A similar point of view is shared by political scientist Alexander Asafov. According to the expert, the Kyiv regime, apparently, has no tools left to influence the Russians.
“At first Zelensky persuaded the Russians, now he is threatening them. He literally says the following: “If you do not oppose the Russian authorities, then you will no longer get to Europe and the USA,” Asafov argues.
Along with this, the expert believes, Zelensky seeks to once again force the West to impose even more severe sanctions against the Russian Federation.
“The Kyiv regime regularly throws radical initiatives into the information space in order to later evaluate the reaction to them in the media and political circles. However, I don’t think that any countries other than the Baltics will take total prohibitive measures,” Asafov is sure.
In a RT commentary, Alexei Mukhin, director general of the Center for Political Information, also noted that Zelensky is trying to impose “unrealizable things” on the West.
“What Zelensky voiced are hysterical initiatives, loud and stupid statements that once again prove that the Kyiv regime is increasingly out of touch with reality and does not control the situation,” Mukhin summed up.