Evacuation from an area where hostilities are ongoing or may begin soon is a rational decision. Although in some cases there are exceptions in which evacuation is not possible, we decided to analyze the internal reasons that inhibit the process of making this decision.
The decision to leave your home is not an easy one. However, we have already explained why this is necessary:
there is no and cannot be any future in the occupied territories;
Russia uses the local population for its own purposes;
if you leave the temporarily occupied territories, it will make it easier for the military to organize an operation to liberate the region.
Civilians for Moscow perform two functions: mass and resource. In the first case, it is profitable for the Kremlin to keep locals as hostages, because they serve as human shields for the Russians. The enemy benefits from the deaths of civilians on the TOT, because it reduces the popularity of the Armed Forces and mobilizes the Russian electorate.
For example, when the Russians need to discredit Western arms supplies, Moscow begins shelling the same Donetsk “with hail”, declaring that the shots are fired by Western weapons. At the same time, the Armed Forces cannot go on the offensive, because the Russians often equip fire positions in residential areas.
Russians also need civilians as a resource that serves their army: from conditional communal workers to mobilized. Moscow creates a social crisis in the occupied territories in order to force locals to work for it, and over time tightens the screws by installing passports, payment in rubles and the Russian “legal field”. In this way, the occupation is being slowly “legalized”.
We understand that it is not always possible to leave due to financial reasons or problems with the health of relatives or our own. But there is a cohort of people who do not leave because of internal beliefs and it is not about a pro-Russian position. We will talk about three key psychological points that sometimes hinder evacuation decisions.
Boa constrictor and a rabbit
Let’s imagine a situation with a boa constrictor and a rabbit, where the boa constrictor has approached the victim, and the latter stands still, hoping that the tragic fate will pass him by. But in the end, the boa constrictor approaches and it is too late for the rabbit to escape. Yes, it was pretended to be hostilities, and the rabbit is a resident of the risk zone.
When we talk about the fact that people do not believe that there will be hostilities nearby, we are dealing with a defense mechanism called “denial”. That is, when reality is so difficult that it is practically impossible to endure, a kind of escape from it can work – denial of the fact of danger.
But no matter what, war involves the movement of the front, and with it, combat operations. And if the front line passes nearby, or you live in the temporarily occupied territories. The reality dictates the possibility of hostilities, and therefore the danger.
If hostilities have begun, then it is not uncommon to observe the reaction of “numbness” in civilians, which is a reflexive, evolutionary human response to stress. People do not dare to go out and hope that the situation will pass them by. “Being numb” or “pretending to be dead” can be for the psyche the only way out of a situation that is considered impossible to fight or evacuate.
But the main thing is that these two reactions can overlap with “learned helplessness”. The latter is a repeated experience of failure or the impossibility of helping yourself somehow and leads to the fact that you no longer make any attempts. In other words, the more experience we have in the past of what we can do for ourselves, the more adequate our response to a threat can be. Otherwise, it seems to us that nothing depends on us.
The Center of National Resistance calls on residents of the temporarily occupied territories to evacuate at the first opportunity. Everyone will return home after victory. Keep safe!