Will there be a nuclear war? Who will win? Is my child dead? Many Russians rely on astrologers to find out what will happen to the conflict in Ukraine, which has cut their country off from much of the world.
Made famous by word of mouth in Saint Petersburg, Elena Koroleva predicted Moscow’s victory to her clients, whom she received in her apartment where two cats prowl between piles of books.
“People want to know what will become of Russia, cut off from the rest of the world” because of Western sanctions taken after the offensive against Ukraine, tells AFP this 63-year-old philologist, wearing a gray ponytail and glasses.
“The global cataclysm will deepen in September, but Russia will emerge stable and prosperous”assures the astrologer, who charges a consultation 5,000 rubles (80 euros).
Since the beginning of the Russian assault on February 24, requests have jumped, she says, without revealing the extent of her clientele.
In Moscow, the diviner Konstantin Daragan, who made a name for himself by predicting before the Covid-19 “a respiratory pandemic”tell him, outright, that “Russia will become the center of the world” after the conflict. Moscow will therefore not be an international pariah, as the West wants, he says.
It was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who “will leave in tears” and “will be the last leader of Ukraine within the current borders”insists the 49-year-old athletic-looking man on his Telegram.
Originally from Donbass, a region in eastern Ukraine that the Russian army is trying to conquer, this aeronautical engineer converted into astrology says he has advised ministers, bankers and members of the Ukrainian secret services in the past.
Having left for Moscow after the arrival of pro-Westerns in power in kyiv in 2014, this “political astrologer” supports the Russian onslaught, even though his hometown of Lysytchansk has been ravaged by fighting.
With the offensive, his social media pages are beset with questions: “Will Moscow be bombed? Will the Baltic countries panic? How will Poland react?”
As a result, his “School of Classical Astrology” has doubled its numbers since February 24 and now has some 200 students in Moscow.
Alexeï Levinson, sociologist of the Russian independent center Levada, judges that “for many confused Russians and Ukrainians”believing in the stars is a way to give meaning to new realities. “Faced with (their) universe which has collapsed, some prefer to take stars as guides rather than their leaders”he summarizes. “Astrology today is a kind of psychotherapy or new religion”, further notes the sociologist.
A student of the mage Daragan, Anna Markous, in her fifties, explains to AFP looking in the stars “a logic in earthly events”. “Russia is designated the only culprit of the conflict, but it is obvious that a third country is the real responsible”believes this ceramist with sparkling eyes, armed with “celestial maps” proving, according to her, the guilt of the United States.
Of course, in Ukraine, the stars tell astrologers the opposite. “Seriously ill”, vladimir “Putin will not survive March 2023”regularly proclaims the astrologer Vlad Ross, omnipresent in the Ukrainian media. “Saturn in the sign of Russia against Uranus in that of Ukraine, our victory is imminent”assures star Ukrainian astrologer Angela Perl, in a video viewed a million times since mid-May.
But beyond the geopolitical implications, in Ukraine, we look to astrologers for a sign to know if a loved one will survive the front or if we have to flee the advance of Russian troops. Ukrainians want “to know if nuclear war is taking place, if they have to leave their country, if their loved ones are in danger”summarizes with AFP the astrologer Olena Oumanets.
“Russia will break out as early as March 2023”, assures this 38-year-old former musician, a refugee since March in Switzerland, with her two children. Her online consultation, billed at 100 dollars, reassures Kristina, a 46-year-old television producer in kyiv, plagued by the frequent silences of her husband, a front-line fighter. “My husband just called me, he thanks God for surviving that night”she wrote one June morning to her astrologer.
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“Who will win?” Russian and Ukrainian astrologers are engaged in a merciless “star war”
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