The greatest fear experienced by Russians, in the first quarter of 2023, was due to acts of sabotage on their own territory, according to the National Anxiety Index study by KROS and published by the Russian news outlet Kommersant.

According to the report's authors, Russians expressed most concern relating to reports that a group of saboteurs had carried out a raid in the Bryansk region on March 2.

In addition, Russians expressed alarm in relation to regular attacks by Ukrainian drones, which included regions far from the frontline - the Tula, Kaluga, and Moscow regions. These fears were exacerbated by reports from the FSB on the prevention of terrorist attacks and the detention of people involved in their preparation.

Researchers rank Russians' fears using analysis of media news (the "media index"), posts and comments on social networks (the "social media index"). The aggregate index indicates the scale of the "information wave" relating to a specific topic, while the "likability" index shows how much it has attracted the attention of ordinary Internet users. If an issue is actively reported on in the mainstream media but does not resonate on social networks, the authors of the study classify that topic as a ‘pseudo-fear.’


 The second biggest fear among Russians appears to be the progress of the war in Ukraine. In 2022, hostilities in the neighboring country were the primary source of anxiety for Russians, but at the beginning of this year, this gave way to concerns about incidents within their own country. Nevertheless, Russians still express concern about when the war will end and the protracted fighting in Bakhmut.

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Fifty Drones Reportedly Attack Eight Regions of Russia, Sparking Fires and Explosions at Substations

Following the drone attack, multiple energy infrastructure facilities were damaged, fires erupted at explosion sites, and two civilians died in the Belgorod region.

 "For both the media and social media, one of the most sensitive topics is the loss of Russian troops. Various versions and conjectures about the extent of 'real' losses are expressed on social networks," the study's authors wrote.

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