"Mirror of Russia" - The Fifth Wave (April 2023)

Russians are against the introduction of electronic summonses and do not support the second wave of mobilization.

The Institute for Conflict Studies and Analysis of Russia (IKAR) conducted a monthly sociological survey as part of the monitoring of Russian society called "Mirror of Russia". The fifth wave of the survey was conducted from April 10 to 24, 2023, using the CATI method (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview), a telephone survey using interactive structured questionnaires with the help of special software for sociological surveys. A total of 1,600 respondents were interviewed.

Main results of the fifth wave of the survey:

  1. The majority of Russian citizens (58%) are against equating electronic summons for military conscription with traditional paper summonses in terms of legal force. At the same time, 69% of respondents support the introduction of a unified register of military conscripts in Russia, and 54% advocate for implementing restrictive measures against citizens who evade military service. An absolute majority of supporters of restrictive measures primarily support a ban on leaving the country for such citizens.

  2. 60% of Russians are against the second wave of partial mobilization in their country, while only a third of respondents support this measure. The majority of Russians reject the simultaneous mass conscription. It has been confirmed by surveys conducted in January and March this year.

  3. The proportion of Russian citizens who believe that the "SMO" should end no later than six months from now has reached 41%, up from 31% in December 2022. The number of supporters of an indefinite war to achieve all objectives decreased significantly, from 48% in December to only 13% in April. At the same time, only a few percent believe that all the war's objectives have been achieved, while 46% believe they have been partially achieved. Three-quarters of Russians would support ending the "Special Military Operation" tomorrow. That’s a figure that has not dropped below 69% since December 2022.

  4. The number of respondents with close relatives or acquaintances killed in the war increased from 44% in February to 46% in April. The slow but steady growth of the proportion of respondents who have lost relatives, friends, or acquaintances in the war is a trend inherent in each survey wave. The proportion of respondents who have mobilized relatives or acquaintances since March 2022 has mostly stayed the same in the last month and remains at the rate of 68% due to the absence of active mobilization measures in Russia during the period mentioned.

  5. The number of Russians who believe that their army is directly opposed to the Ukrainian military, which is supplied by Western countries, and the number of those who are confident that Russian soldiers are directly fighting NATO forces are almost the same: 46% and 43%, respectively. Only 2% are confident that the Russian Federation is only fighting against the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

  6. A majority (58%) of respondents say that direct involvement in the "SMO" should not be a mandatory condition for holding high positions in Russia. At the same time, a third of respondents support introducing such a condition.

  7. However, a majority of Russians (63%) are confident that participants of the "SMO" can criticize the flaws and mistakes of the military commandment in combat operations. In addition, 59% believe that Vladimir Putin is well informed about the progress of the "Special Military Operation". This confidence among Russians has remained unchanged since December 2022.