Newsweek: Russian poll claim that Russian public support for the war on Ukraine is eroding under the weight of inflation and the low standard of living


The Newsweek posted a report which claimed that, the more financially distressed Russians suffer from Western sanctions, the more confused they will be with the Kremlin’s version of the invasion of Ukraine, according to an independent group in Moscow.

Newsweek report said that although the Russian economy was able to absorb the strong shocks caused by the Western sanctions packages that were successively imposed on Moscow since its invasion of Ukraine on the twenty-fourth of February of the year 2022, analysts and observers expect Russia to witness more severe repercussions of Western sanctions in the event Moscow continued its war on Kiev.

The Russian authorities, which criminalize anyone who criticizes what they call a special military operation, a euphemism for its war against Ukraine, are working to hide expressions of discontent in opinion polls, especially if respondents are asked questions related to support for the war.

Newsweek indicates that the Moscow-based Chronicles research center says that this poll, in which 1,600 people participated, aims to obtain a more realistic view of the feelings that Russians currently have on the issue of support the war.

The poll included questions about whether Russians think public money should be spent on the military rather than the social sector, as well as whether they support the withdrawal of their country’s forces from Ukraine to start peace talks without achieving the Kremlin’s military goals.

The results of the poll conducted by the aforementioned center between the second and the 9th of February showed that 22% of the 1600 participated in the survey were supporters of the war, while the percentage of those denouncing the war was 20%, with a margin of error of 3%.

In response to a question about whether the respondent faced financial difficulties due to the war, for example, losing a job, declining income, reducing quantities of food and giving up some types of food due to inflation, it was found that the economic problems resulted in a decrease in the declared level of support by about 8%.

A Russian dissident Alexey Minyaylo, who launched last year with a small group team of sociologists a magazine called the Chronicle, told Newsweek: “We find that people, meaning the Russians, are getting poorer, and this matter will affect their view of the war”.

The survey refers to the battle between the fridge and the TV which is a common metaphor in Russia regarding the standard of living, and Minyaylo says that the time “when the fridge will win its battle against the TV is over”.

The Russian government owned media is saying that the Russian government is thwarting the effects of Western sanctions, is something that completely contradicts the prices of goods and commodities in the local markets, as state television claims that the country’s economy is adapting to the sanctions and circumventing their effects, but the residents when they go to the store they see that prices have gone up 10% in half a year, according to Minyaylo.

Minyaylo explains that the results of the survey conducted by his Chronicles institute, showed that Western economic sanctions not only stifle Russia and limit Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ability to produce more weapons, but also influence support for the war in Inside Russia.

An opinion conducted last November showed that popular support for the war on Ukraine is declining, reaching a historic minimum, as the percentage of support fell to 51%, compared to 55% last July and 66% in July.

Last December, the independent Russian-language Meduza news website reported that the Moscow government intends to limit the publication of public results conducted by the close Kremlin polling center called the Russian Public Opinion Research Center regarding the position on the war on Ukraine.

The British The Times newspaper reported, early December that a secret opinion poll conducted by the Kremlin revealed a significant decline in Russian popular support for the war in Ukraine, as according to the poll leaked to the media, it didn’t exceed the percentage of those who support the war is 25%.

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