"Mirror of Russia" - The Third Wave (February 2023)

The war has entered the everyday life of Russians, who are looking for a reason to end it.

The Institute for Conflictology and Analysis of Russia (ICAR) conducted a monthly sociological survey of Russian society called "Mirror of Russia". From February 6th to 19th , 2023, the third wave of the study was conducted on an all-Russian sample dedicated to the anniversary of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation. The survey method is CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview), a telephone survey based on an interactive structured questionnaire using special software for sociological surveys. A total of 1,600 respondents were interviewed.

The main results of the third wave of the survey:

  1. After a year of the war, most Russian citizens (69%) have relatives or acquaintances who have been mobilised since the beginning of the large-scale attack on February 24, 2022.
    With each survey, the share of Russians who answer that someone close to them and/or acquaintances has already died since the beginning of "SMO" increases - from 29% in December to 38% in February. The share of those who tell about the death of people from their close circle is gradually increasing: relatives (from 1% in December to 3% in February), several relatives: (from 1% to 3%) or several friends (from 3% to 5%).

  2. Currently, the "Special Military Operation" against Ukraine remains the main problem Russian society is facing (45%). At the same time, Russians are struggling of low salaries and pensions (from 25% in December to 32% in February), which should catch up with the rise in prices.

  3. The majority of Russian citizens surveyed believe that the goal of the "SMO" regarding the "denazification of Ukraine" was not achieved during the 12 months of the war (52%); the same applies to the "demilitarisation of Ukraine" (48%). On the other hand, the majority believes that the goal of "SMO" regarding the "protection of the residents of Donbas" has been achieved (68%).

  4. Among Russians, the share of those who are confident that the Russian Federation has already partially achieved the goals of the "SMO" (from 39% in December to 55% in February) or has done so completely (4%) is steadily increasing. At the same time, the number of supporters of an eternal war until the fulfilment of all goals has significantly decreased (from 48% in December to 12% in February). The share of those who want to see the time frame of "SMO" for no more than one or two years has increased sharply (from 6% in December to 29% in February), as well as the share of undecideds on this issue (from 15% in December to 26% in February).

  5. Therefore, after a year of full-scale warfare, most Russians (69%) would positively agree to the decision to end the "SMO" at least tomorrow. Even though, the majority of respondents answered that the events in the country are taking place in the right direction (69%), the war had to be started (66%), and everything is going according to the plan (56%).

  6. An additional argument in favour of prompt ending of "SMO" for citizens is that almost three-quarters of them (73%) agree with the opinion that the war was a trap for Russia on the part of the United States, and this was precisely what official Washington sought for. Therefore, a relative majority (45%) assumes the scenario of breaking these "plans" by the return of Russian troops at the turn of February 24, 2022.

  7. ** During the 12 months of the war, volunteerism did not become a mass movement in the Russian Federation: more than three-quarters (77%) of citizens answered, that they were not engaged in helping the army.**

The statistical error with a probability of 0.95 does not exceed 2.5%.