According to independent polling, 72 percent of Russians are satisfied with the Putin government’s resolution of the Wagnerite mutiny that took place on June 24.

Russian Field, one of the last remaining independent social and political research organizations in Russia, conducted a telephone survey between June 26 and 30 with 1,500 Russians who are representative by region, age and gender. It followed another poll by them from June 16 to 19, prior to Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin’s aborted rebellion.

The post-mutiny survey additionally found that older Russians were more satisfied than other age groups with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s response.

In terms of the 18 percent of Russians who were not satisfied with the government’s response, they said they were concerned that Prigozhin was not held accountable for his actions, and that the conflict was not fully resolved, since its causes were not eliminated.

Advertisement

Almost three-quarters of the respondents (73 percent) believe a change of power by force of arms in Russia is impossible. This is especially true among men and people under 45, readers of online media and users of Telegram channels.

Survey work between June 16 and 19 showed that 55 percent of Russians were positive about Yevgeny Prigozhin’s role and 14 percent were negative. Among the study participants from June 16 to 19, the level of approval for Prigozhin was the highest among men and middle-aged respondents, the level of disapproval was greatest among young people. 

G7 Pledges More Russia Sanctions After Virtual Talks on Ukraine
Other Topics of Interest

G7 Pledges More Russia Sanctions After Virtual Talks on Ukraine

Along with pledging more support, G7 leaders called on Russia to clarify the circumstances of Russian opposition leader Navalny's death and for Iran to stop providing Russia with military support.

A Ukrainian NGO that assesses Russian propaganda and influence strategies said that the pre-mutiny support level is “obvious”.

“For at least half a year, Prigozhin was the second most media-exposed person after Putin in the Russian Federation,” Serhi Kuzan, Chairman of the Ukrainian Security and Cooperation Center (USCC) said.

“He had his own media empire and a network of his Telegram channels, which were widely quoted and used. And in the media space, both journalists and propagandists made a hero out of him.. Therefore, it is clear that in Russian society, his figure and his actions found support. It is obvious,” Kuzan said.

Advertisement

In the post-mutiny poll, Russian views radically shifted to 29 percent (-26 percent) being positive and 39 percent (+25 percent) being negative. As with the earlier survey, a positive attitude towards Prigozhin’s activities is more often expressed by men and respondents aged 30-44, while the share of negative assessments is extremely high among older people.

 

Additionally, after the mutiny, Prigozhin’s support in the conflict with the Russian Ministry of Defense more than halved (from 45 to 20 percent), while support for the Ministry of Defense more than tripled (from 12 to 41 percent).

As a result of the mutiny events, about two-thirds (67 percent) of the respondents did not change their attitude towards Putin, while in the case of Prigozhin, the attitude towards him became worse in 40 percent of the respondents. A third of respondents (33 percent) also changed their attitude towards Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for the worse.

According to Kuzan, while the mutiny allegedly failed, the broader problems did not go away.

Advertisement

“There is no support for Shoigu. There is this internal protest that the problems seem not to have been solved. And Putin needs to react somehow. On the one hand, he could release Shoigu, and in this way he would be able to defuse this public demand; on the other hand, if he releases Shoigu, he will actually show that he was on a leash of the rebels. That's why Putin can't do it, because right now his power is quite fragile. He has already shown himself to be a weak and insecure fugitive president,” Kuzan said 

Russian Field has been polling Russians about their attitudes toward the full-scale invasion of Ukraine since 2022.

In mid-June, prior to the Prigozhin incident, more than half of the respondents (58 percent) assessed the course of the “military operation” for the Russian army as successful. At the same time, 21 percent believe that the “military operation” is not successful. The same number found it difficult or refused to answer the question.

This finding has been nearly unchanged across seven polls that Russian Field has conducted since April 2022.

Of respondents, 62 percent of them do not feel any danger to themselves personally in connection with the “military operation.” More than a third of respondents (36 percent) report their fears. Women worry more about themselves: 43 percent versus 26 percent among men.

Advertisement

Three-quarters of respondents (74 percent) consider it unacceptable to use nuclear weapons if it leads to victory in hostilities. The use of nuclear weapons in the course of a “military operation” in Ukraine is considered acceptable by 16 percent of respondents, while 5 percent believe that such a step is acceptable only if there is a threat of defeat.

Somewhat more often, a nuclear strike is considered acceptable by men: 20 percent versus 12 percent among women. The poorest and richest respondents are more likely than others to consider the use of nuclear weapons acceptable (about 20 percent). 

Almost three-quarters of respondents (73 percent) believe that Russia is moving in the right direction;16 percent of the respondents felt path the country is following is wrong; another 11 percent found it difficult or refused to answer. Serious differences in opinion among respondents of different sex and age are not observed.

Respondents with low income are more likely than others to indicate the direction of Russia’s development as wrong. With the increase in income, the positive attitude of the respondents to the direction of the country’s movement also grows. An inverse relationship is observed among respondents with different levels of education: the higher it is, the more often a pessimistic assessment is expressed.

Advertisement

Respondents who believe official data can be trusted are more likely to approve of the direction Russia is taking. Those who do not consider this information to be trustworthy are less likely to give positive assessments. The most optimistic audience is television, the least optimistic are online media readers.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Comments (0)

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Write the first comment for this!