The Big Picture

Vincent Boland: One year on, Russia shambles into insanity as Ukraine’s tragedy advances

Some brave Russians stand up to Putin’s blatant lies about the war in Ukraine, but it was striking to see so many of the country’s elite cowed and compliant as the Russian leader rambled on with his terrifying vision for the future

Russian president Vladimir Putin attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Eternal Flame and the Unknown Soldier’s Grave in the Alexander Garden during an event marking Defender of the Fatherland Day in Moscow, February 23, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

There are some very brave people in Russia. The BBC broadcast a revealing documentary last week – Inside Russia: Traitors and Heroes – that featured, among others, Nina Belyaeva, a local councillor in the south-western city of Voronezh who refuses to accept the official Russian narrative of the war in Ukraine.

Belyaeva is especially disgusted by the assertion, intoned endlessly by Vladimir Putin, that Ukraine has been taken over by Nazis. This is despite the ...