In the case of “important today”, stern reporter and Russia expert Bettina Sengling answers listeners’ questions about the war in Ukraine: about the alleged “denazification”, the successful propaganda in Russia and about the reputation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj.

It’s day 97 of the war in Ukraine, of “Putin’s war,” as many have long said. stern reporter Bettina Sengling experiences very well on her travels in Russia that it is not just “Putin’s war”. In the 285th episode of “Today Important” she reports on the successful propaganda offensive in parts of the Russian population: “I’ve heard umpteen times that America wants to conquer and weaken Russia, Scholz wants to destroy Russia, the Americans want a preventive atomic bomb throwing it at Russia… Things like that happen in the Russian media and bring their own people in line.” Polls also show that the president has a certain amount of support for his “special operation.”

There are resistances. But Putin is making it increasingly difficult for his people to speak out publicly against the war, Bettina Sengling explains: “In Russia it’s no longer even possible to take to the streets with a poster that says ‘no war’. Even people with blank placards have been arrested or people just pretending to have a placard in their hands.” That has a deterrent effect and effectively discourages people from protesting, but also from taking active action against Putin: “The probability that Putin will be deposed, killed or changed his mind by his own people is really very low. [.. .] Most of the political rulers in Soviet history ruled until their deaths and obviously the same thing is threatening us now with Putin.”

“There’s nothing wrong with Putin’s accusation that Ukraine doesn’t have its own culture”

In advance, listeners could send questions to, which will be answered in today’s episode with the journalist and Russia expert. The editors were repeatedly asked about Putin’s justification for the invasion of Ukraine, the alleged denazification. This is primarily a pretext, reports Bettina Sengling. Likewise, the alleged lack of culture in Ukraine: “There is nothing to Putin’s accusation that Ukraine does not have its own culture. That is an extremely chauvinistic and provocative statement by Putin. I think and assume that Putin himself knows that this is not true. ” For example, although Russian is spoken in many parts of Ukraine, the official national and official language is Ukrainian. In addition, democratization has taken place in Ukraine in particular since 2014, and many people are leaning towards the West: “It sounds banal to us that elections result in a change of power. But it is something special and a big exception, especially in the post-Soviet region. […] In For Russia, the thought of free elections is completely unthinkable.”

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