The New York TimesThe New York Times

Putin's forever war

By Roger Cohen

07 Aug 2023 · 25 min read

informed Summary

  1. The invasion of Ukraine has transformed Russia, with the conflict visible even in remote areas such as Ulan-Ude in southern Siberia. The war has taken an estimated 200,000 lives since February 2022, according to US diplomats in Moscow.

ULAN-UDE, Russia — Through towering pine forests and untouched meadows, the road to Lake Baikal in southern Siberia winds past cemeteries where bright plastic flowers mark the graves of Russians killed in Ukraine. Far from the Potemkin paradise of Moscow, the war is ever visible.

On the eastern shore of the lake, where white-winged gulls plunge into the steel-blue water, Yulia Rolikova, 35, runs an inn that doubles as a children’s summer camp. She is about 3,500 miles from the front, yet the war reverberates in her family and in her head.

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