Most Russians support the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine but would only approve of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to end it if the territories seized by Moscow were not returned.

A Levada poll from April of this year shows that 71 percent of Russians would support Putin’s decision if he decided to end the military conflict with Ukraine “this week,” compared to 70 percent in October 2023. However, if Putin decided to end the conflict on the condition of returning the so-called annexed territories, less than a third of Russians would support his decision – 30 percent (in October 2023 – 34 percent).

In November last year 67 percent of respondents saw the return of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions to Ukraine as an unacceptable condition for negotiations with 71 percent feeling the same about the return of occupied Luhansk and Donetsk, and 76 percent opposing Ukraine’s accession to NATO.

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The poll shows that 77 percent of young people in Russia (18-24 years old) do not support Vladimir Putin as president.

However, the level of support for the Russian Armed Forces remains high, with three-quarters of all Russians backing them. After a brief decline at the beginning of the year, the share of Russians who favor peace talks has begun to recover, with about half of them now supporting them.

The number of supporters of the transition to peace talks in Russia is higher among young people (18-24 years old) – 61 percent, and those who trust social media as a source of information – 61 percent.

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The Levada Center’s poll was conducted on April 18-24, 2024, among 1,603 people. The research was carried at the respondents’ homes through personal interviews, which indicates a certain degree of self-nomination making the survey sample less random and therefore less representative of the overall population group.

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