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Moscow mayor supports war against Ukraine - British intelligence

Moscow mayor supports war against Ukraine - British intelligence Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin (Russian media)
Author: Maria Kholina

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin continues to support the war against Ukraine, but not at the expense of Moscow citizens, rather by relying on people who have come to work from different ethnic regions, according to the Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom on Twitter.

Moscow’s municipal authorities are highly likely threatening to withdraw contracts from construction firms if they fail to hit quotas for providing ‘volunteers’ to serve in Ukraine. One company has reportedly been set a target of 30 volunteers by the end of August 2023.

According to British intelligence, this move will likely primarily affect ethnic minorities from poorer regions of Russia such as Dagestan and central Asian states, who make up the majority of Moscow’s construction workers.

"This measure is highly likely at least tacitly endorsed by Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin. It continues his track record of trying to minimise the impact of the conflict on better-off Muscovites, while still being seen to support the war effort," the UK Ministry of Defense stated.

Russians support war

According to the independent Levada Center, in May 2023, three-quarters of Russia's population (76%) supported the war with Ukraine. Respondents anticipated a protracted conflict.

However, support among residents for peaceful negotiations with Ukraine increased following a failed mutiny attempt led by the leader of the Wagner mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin. In June, the percentage of respondents supporting negotiations increased by 8 percentage points to 53%, compared to the previous month.

Previously, the Kremlin advised the heads of Russian regions to be more cautious with information about casualties in the war in Ukraine and obituaries, as such publications "disturbed" residents, and journalists used them to tally the number of deceased.

Sobyanin has never commented on the number of Moscow residents killed since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.