Sociologists paint picture of supporters and opponents of the “special operation”

June 13, 2022
A recent survey showing 55% for the war and 29% against it reveals the major demographic trends, with civil servants and pensioners the most supportive groups and young people, scientists and culture workers the most opposed.
In early May the Russian Field research organization conducted a phone survey of 1,609 respondents from all Russia’s regions to ask whether they support the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine. In particular, the list of questions included “would you cancel the “special operation?” – those who answered affirmatively were considered opponents of the war and those who answered negatively were considered supporters.

Fifty-five percent of the respondents said they wouldn’t cancel the “special operation.” The highest support was seen among law enforcement employees (80%), pensioners (63%), civil servants (62%) and housing and communal services workers (54%); 59% of men and 52% of women voiced support. Most of the “supporters,” according to the survey, live in the Far East and Central federal districts.
They generally get their information about Ukraine from TV (66%) and news on Yandex/Google (56%) and by word of mouth (50%). According to 79% of “supporters,” the war is going well for the Russian army. Most favor continuing the war (84%) and are satisfied with the situation in Russia (73%). They blame the rising tensions, as well as the responsibility for sanctions, on the US, NATO, the EU and Ukraine (72%). “Supporters” would like to restore the borders of the Soviet Union (77%) and believe that the war will strengthen Russia’s position in the world (71%).

Twenty-nine percent of the respondents favored canceling the “special operation,” with the biggest opposition coming from those involved in science/academia (85%), advertising and media (54%) and culture (40%) and students and the unemployed (about 40%). Twenty-five percent of men and 32% women voiced opposition. Most live in the North Caucasus and Siberian federal districts.

“Opponents” read online media (47%), browse VK groups (48%) and Telegram channels (38%) and watch news on YouTube (42%). Most of them think the “special operation” is going poorly for the Russian army (72%) and that it’s worth moving toward peace negotiations (63%). They are generally dissatisfied with the situation in Russia (51%) and are sure that Russia is to blame for the rising tensions (93%). They mostly believe that the war won’t strengthen Russia’s position in the world (65%) and that it isn’t worth trying to restore the borders of the Soviet Union (66%).
As you can see from the survey, support for the “special operation” rises with age and income: young people and low-income citizens are more likely to have a negative attitude toward the war than the elderly and wealthy. “Supporters” aren’t worried about their savings (71%), while “opponents” tend to have concerns (47%). The share of “opponents” is higher among those who have been abroad than those who haven’t (34% versus 25%). Interestingly, both “supporters” (60%) and “opponents” (65%) have friends or relatives in Ukraine.

Digest written by the Russia.Post editorial team. See the original here.
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