April 7th 2022

Online Survey: Perceptions of Russ:ins on the War in Ukraine (April Update)

Key findings: Propaganda and repressive measures work. This is shown by the second moweb survey of Russian citizens on the Ukraine conflict. Both general approval and the scores for Putin are rising. Even more Russians see the USA as the main culprit.

Second representative online survey by moweb research together with pollytix strategic research on the war in Ukraine. Four weeks after the first survey, more than 1,500 Russians were again asked about their personal attitudes.

The media propaganda as well as clearly intensified repressive measures against dissenting opinions are also reflected in the opinion of the Russian population. Approval of so-called "military intervention" has increased again by almost ten percent - from 48% a month ago to 57% now. The greatest increase was seen above all in Russians under the age of 59.

Vladimir Putin was able to increase his personal trust ratings from 71% (at the beginning of March) to 75%. And old enemy images are still catching on: 50% of Russians now see the USA as the main culprit in the escalation - and not Ukraine (14%), NATO (11%) or Russia itself (9%).

More Russians expressed an unequivocal opinion this time, and the high proportion of undecideds from the first survey has dropped significantly. What has remained is the tendency for most opponents of the war to still be found among younger people under 39. Here are the other results:

Troop withdrawal: advocacy or rejection

62% of Russ:in oppose this (compared to March: +10%). Only 17% are in favor of a withdrawal.

Trustworthiness of Russian actors

Both the military (83%) and Putin (75%) increased their scores slightly. The Russian media and the parliament (Duma) now score well above 50%.

Assessment of the most important countries involved

As expected, Russia and Belarus receive the highest scores with 86% each (both +3%). Germany and France, on the other hand, lose strongly in popularity with 7% each (43% and 45%). Respondents give their so-called brother nation Ukraine only marginally more approval at 25% than the USA at 21%.

Western sanctions: Impact on the country and Russians personally

After almost six weeks of war, 80% of Russians feel that Western sanctions are not justified (+6%). At the same time, however, they feel the impact on the country as well as on themselves personally is less severe than at the beginning of March.

Narratives: Demilitarisation - Denazification - Protection of Russian Minorities

All three narratives are now convincing to some extent to clear majorities in the Russian population. Demilitarisation is now supported by 63% (+4%), denazification by 51% (+2%), and the protection of the Russian minority by 58% (+4%).

Prospects for Crimea, the Donbas and Ukraine in the EU

84% demand recognition of Crimea (as Russian) by the West. Another 4% more than four weeks ago. 63% reject the idea of Donetsk and Luhansk being administered by Ukraine (again) (+5%). Almost the same 39% do not want Ukraine to decide for itself whether to join the EU. After all, 32% (+2%) are in favour.

All results and details of the study

Between 31 March and 6 April 2022, we conducted a representative online survey with pollytix strategic research with 1,508 people in Russia. The entire study, the press release, graphic and the moweb logo are available for download below.

Download: Studie "Wahrnehmungen von Russ:innen zum Krieg in der Ukraine" (April)
Download: Pressemitteilung zur Studie
Download: moweb research Logo
Download: Grafik

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