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Are Russian People Bracing for World War III?



A Belarusian volunteer receives military training to fight on behalf of Ukraine in Kyiv on March 8, 2022. (AP File)
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Despite Putin’s crackdown on independent media in Russia, a 21-year-old named Daniil, for now, roams the streets of Moscow getting people’s reactions to the Ukraine war on video.

“I think the war has started between the governments, not between people,” a young woman says in a video on the first day of the Ukraine invasion. “What do we gotta do? You can’t help it with posts. We gotta go into the streets.”

Daniil posts the videos on the YouTube channel 1420, which has more than 200,000 subscribers.

He recently posed the question “Do you expect World War III?”

He received a broad range of answers. Some people feared that a world war was inevitable. Others said it wouldn’t happen. And, one woman questioned why the West is involving itself in “internal relations between Russia and Ukraine.”

Watch below:

Over the last week-and-a-half, Daniil has solicited reactions on NATO, the “Z” denoting Russian military vehicles, and Putin’s “fake news law.”

Daniil told The Independent, a British digital news site, by email that he strives to present questions in a neutral tone so as to not affect the answers.

“We at 1420 prefer not to feel anything about the answers. Otherwise, it can affect the video, so it’s better to stay cold-hearted. I want to show Russians from every perspective, so the world will be able to know everything about them.”

Russians Now More Reluctant to Voice Views

But, Daniil says, many Moscow pedestrians now are keeping their opinions to themselves. For one recent video, he said, 23 pedestrians agreed to talk, while 123 refused. After three weeks of the war, even fewer are answering his questions.

How long will Daniil keep asking questions?

“Now I can’t stay here,” he said, “so I decided to travel around the world.”


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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