Benjamin Quenelle, Special Envoy to Ust-Lapinsk
LFar from Moscow, far from the opposition that pits the capital’s narrow liberal circles, far from the suspicions that overtake its elites, that is deep Russia. “Here, we don’t ask too many questions! “Svetlana, in her fifties, direct-looking, outspoken, immediately warns. Here, it is in the small town of Ust-Labinsk in the southern part of Russia, where about 40,000 people live in the agricultural region of Krasnodar. When asked about the conflict in Ukraine, locals do not hesitate to talk loudly about “war”. Then the pride of sending their men forward. However, tractors work quietly. These black earth fields are the most productive and fertile in Russia. Ust-Labinsk, 1,300 km south of Moscow, is one of Vladimir Putin’s main sources of loyal support for the Kremlin. “We believe him!” says Svetlana.
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