Russian soldiers appear to open fire on peaceful protesters in Kherson

A YouTube channel is documenting the views of everyday Russians about the war and whether it will escalate to World War 3.

So far, it has been difficult for the West to gauge the feeling of the Russian people about the war because of the country’s strict censorship rules.

Two Russian women were arrested within seconds of each other for attempting to voice their thoughts on the streets of Moscow. Journalists are also banned from calling the invasion a “war”.

But a YouTube channel is giving us a glimpse of what ordinary Russians really think about the war.

YouTube is one of the few social media sites that is not banned in the country and a channel called 1420 has been collecting the views of pedestrians on the war as it has gone on for almost four weeks.

In one video, the creator, named Daniil, walked the streets asking Moscow pedestrians if they expect “World War 3”.

Do Russians expect the World War 3?

According to the English subtitles, the views expressed are quite varied, with some people clearly believing propaganda coming from state news and the Kremlin, while others appear more sceptical.

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One man replied: “I’m an optimist so I hope it won’t happen.”

Another young man said: “Unfortunately, yeah. Geopolitical powers always support this.”

One pedestrain said: “I think it’s unacceptable. People in the 21st century shouldn’t be at war with each other. At least because no death is can be justified by political values

Some were hopeful that a compromise will be reached between the two warring sides.

A man said, “No”, and went on to explain, “I believe there will be a compromise between Ukraine and Russia.”

But, one older lady who had clearly absorbed much of the propaganda disagreed, saying she thought it was possible.

She said: “I feel it in the atmosphere and what’s happening right now. I see how other countries treat us.

“I see what a hatred caused this situation. I’m just shocked. I didn’t expect such a reaction – that they [Ukraine] would resist so much. That there would be such support from the West.

“I’m really surprised. For them, Ukraine is kinda testing the ground? Why are they helping Ukraine? These are international relations between Russia and Ukraine.

“Why [do] they support them so much? What do they want? Maybe they are testing their weapons? It’s outrageous.”

Meanwhile, some others in the clip seemed fearful to answer. One young man said: “Nah, it’s provoking, I cannot answer.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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