Enjoying the summer sun, families walk around Moscow’s parks full of various flowers, children play in fountains, couples in love dance to Latin American music.
These images provide a stark contrast to the devastated cities and towns in the neighboring country, just a few hundred kilometers away.
Muscovites told Reuters reporters that their lives have hardly changed in the past six months.
“Nothing has changed. We do not track price changes. We don’t follow the news. We travel inside Russia. Everything is wonderful,” said Vasilijus, a 44-year-old resident of Moscow.
“It looks like everything is fine. If you live in Moscow, you have not felt any changes. People relax, go to cafes, restaurants, spend money as before. I think things have more or less returned to normal, especially in terms of how the West wanted us to live and what came out of it. I don’t think a cold winter awaits us,” said Emil, another resident of Moscow.
Still others say that Russia’s military operation in Ukraine had a direct impact on their lives: 18-year-old Angelika claims that she had to abandon her plans to leave Russia due to Western sanctions.
“Due to the situation, I faced problems regarding admission to a foreign university. I had chosen a higher education institution, but I couldn’t start my studies”, said 18-year-old Anželika.
When asked why it is related to Ukraine, the girl answered:
“Related because Russian citizens no longer have the opportunity to study abroad.”
While war continues in neighboring Ukraine, residents of the Russian capital are enjoying festivals and other summer events.
With the thermometer reading over 30 degrees Celsius, Muscovites flocked to the beaches to cool off and enjoy the warmth before the long Russian winter sets in.
“You see, people are dancing… Life goes on. We are not waiting for doom or for someone to push a button and launch something into the sky. Not at all. We hope that everything will return to the previous track”, said Igor Palgov, a resident of Moscow.
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