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How Russians Fight

With the full force of the security state breathing down their necks, ordinary Russians are unable to protest against the Ukraine war en masse. But evidence of covert resistance to the Kremlin's narrative about the war can be found everywhere.

MOSCOW – During World War II, the iconic American film director Frank Capra created a documentary series entitled “Why We Fight.” Originally produced by the US Department of War as a training film, the theatrical release was meant to convince Americans that the anti-Hitler coalition warranted their support, and that the defeat of the Nazis directly served American interests. The project was a success, though it is impossible to measure the film’s impact precisely. In the Soviet Union, another major party to the fight, the public needed no such convincing as the battle for survival was happening on their own territory.