Has life in Russia regressed since the Ukraine invasion?

The 'war economy' has defied Western sanctions as ordinary citizens rally round the regime

Photo composite of Russian locations, people, economy and Putin
Russia's economy is predicted to grow by 2.6% this year, far more than the UK's
(Image credit: Illustration by Stephen Kelly / Getty Images)

Nearly two years on from Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, neither economic catastrophe nor a popular uprising have come to pass, with most ordinary Russians resigned to war as a fact of life.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently repeated satirist Mikhail Zhvanetsky's joke that "for our people to truly unite, they need a big war". But while acknowledging that Zhvanetsky wasn't serious, Lavrov added that "in every joke, there is an element of truth".

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