I have sympathy for the Russian people.
I was going to be a Russian Orthodox priest or monk in the late 1990s. I converted to Orthodoxy in 1994 and stayed with them until around 2000.
I learned how to read and write in Russian, including script. I could have some minimal conversations.
But I had no interest in the politics of Russia or even its church in particular; I was actually more interested in their RENEGADE group at the time, the “Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia” (ROCOR), which was a bunch of misfits in Alaska and other odd parts. I looked down at the MP (Moscow Patriarcate) as a mere tool of the Russian government)
Now Putin wasn’t in power at first. I don’t know who was and wasn’t paying it much mind. But I remember a lot of people were genuinely worried in 1999 when Putin came into power because of his KGB past and his fingers that already extended everywhere into every corner of Russia and the previous Soviet lands. Far too powerful to be in charge basically even in 1999.
So, I’m prejudiced.
I don’t remember much Russian anymore. I can still read it mostly.
I’m for the people, not the politicians or the politics. I follow a lot of Russians and Ukrainians and other slav people on Instagram and I like their posts, and give them thumbs up. But Putin can blow away and the world would be better.