After the usual quick run-through of war-related news, I consider the rise of mysticism and occultism not just in Putin's circle, but Russia as a whole. Tales of rituals in the Kremlin; the Communist 'battle mage;' predictions of triumph in Ukraine. What is the reason? My view is that it is a response to anomie and despair - but also incubates hope for change, and illustrates a desire for that change. So, however bizarre, it may be grounds for optimism.
The Carnegie article by Ksenia Luchenko I mentioned is here; the FT piece on PMCs here.
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