Yesterday evening’s PM programme on Radio 4 had quite a harrowing interview with two Russian women who are both long-term residents in the UK. Neither were oligarchs: just ordinary people living ordinary lives. In some ways, both were in self-imposed exile: loving their homeland but hating how it is run and what it is doing in the world and aware that even some members of their families see Russia’s actions as reasonable and them as unpatriotic.
It was a valuable interview to broadcast and reminder that ‘us’ and ‘them’ are such empty and hurtful ways of categorising people. If you have any Russians down your street or as friends, they might be all about Putin and the strength of Mother Russia, just like some Americans are still adamant in their belief that Donald Trump will make America great again. Others though will be ashamed and hurting. Give them kindness and, if appropriate, give them a hug.