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Russians and Ukrainians are deeply connected. Millions of Ukrainians have relatives in Russia. Many have lived in the country.

But Moscow has taken steps to shield its people from open information about the war, even as its bombing campaign intensifies.

When Ukrainians try to explain the dire situation to family members in Russia, they are often met with denial, resistance, and a kind of refusal to believe.

Valerie Hopkins, a correspondent for The New York Times, currently in Ukraine.

Police officers in Red Square, Moscow, this month. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has framed the war in Ukraine as being a battle against Nazism.
Kirill Kudryavtsev/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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Valerie Hopkins contributed reporting.

Special thanks to Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty.

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