Subtle Changes in Russian Digital Street After Kherson Defeat

Nadin Brzezinski
8 min readNov 13, 2022
Screen cap of a weapon issued to Russian troops. captured by Ukraine, Kherson region

Over the last few months, every defeat has been met with excuses. The withdrawal from Kyiv was we never intended to take it. The withdrawal from Kharkiv was a repositioning of forces. Snake Island was a gesture of goodwill. This is now called a defeat.

There is a subtle change in how this war is getting perceived. Moscow Calling, a nationalist with a closer grasp on reality, offered this yesterday:

In one of Z-channels I met an interesting idea. It is interesting not by its content, but by the attempt to invent something to stay in that picture of the world, which is now irreversibly destroyed.

It’s dawning on many Russians that the Federation is not a superpower. Whether its nuclear arsenal still works is a question for intelligence agencies. But the Russian bear, it turns out, is a starving bear cub.

> So here is the thought. Suppose that in all wars Russia has almost always “got into trouble”, and then it became stern in the face, shook itself up and returned everything to its attackers. So this time, too, the scenario will be scrappy and fully in line with tradition.

I am seeing some of this in a few channels. But in other wars, when things went bad, we shook ourselves up and in the end persevered. This is the story of the Great Patriotic War. The one that Vladimir Putin has been working on for decades. The one that ignores the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement that split Poland or American lend-lease. Without the latter, Russia would have been defeated.

>Analogies are a dubious thing. Every analogy always rests in a narrow place — context. There are always peculiarities and differences which can invalidate any analogy. But there is another point here. In defensive wars — yes, there were times when you took a beating and then, with difficulty, but brought it all back. Sometimes even too far back. But now the war is not a defensive one. Moreover — Kiriyenko calls to make it popular, which means, among other things: it is not popular. It is only being called for. And by people with arms from a known place, living in the country, which they do not know.

He is aware of World War One. It did not lead to a glorious return. Some could say Russia abdicated to the Germans at…



Nadin Brzezinski

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game. You can find me at CounterSocial, Mastodon and rarely FB