The criminal decision to attack Ukraine will cost everyone in Russia — though not as much as it will cost Ukrainians. Among the Russians who will suffer the most are the members of the country’s most globalized and open generation ever: “generation Putin,” people born either right before he became prime minister in 1999 or shortly after. These people have known only Putin as the ruler of Russia, and now they’ll see him taking away their future and aspirations.
That generation is suddenly stuck in the middle of the backlash to Putin’s invasion. The University of Tartu, in Estonia, is restricting applications from Russia and Belarus because of the sanctions. Some American officials are pushing to do the same thing in the United States, with Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) suggesting “kicking every Russian student out of the United States” in response to the war.