"MIRROR OF RUSSIA" - THE SEVENTH WAVE (SEPTEMBER 2023)
Financial problems became problem number one for the Russians
The Institute for Conflict Studies and Analysis of Russia (IKAR) together with sociological company Info Sapiens conducted a monthly sociological survey called "The Mirror of Russia". The seventh wave was conducted on a nationwide sample during September 14-28, 2023. The survey’s methodology is the CATI method (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview), a telephone survey by interactive structured questionnaire using special software for sociological surveys. A total of 1,600 respondents were interviewed.
Main results of the seventh wave of the survey:
1. For the first time during the monitoring, the problem of low level of salaries and pensions, which cannot keep up with rising prices, took the first place (42%) among the main problems for the Russians, pushing the problem of war into the second place (31%). The trend of a gradual increase of the relevance of financial problems for Russian society with a simultaneous decrease of the relevance of the problem of the so-called “SMO” was clearly visible throughout the spring and summer of 2023.
2. More than half (52%) of Russians answer that their savings would last only for several weeks or one month if they lost their main source of income. Another 15% assess their “financial cushion” as sufficient for only a few months. It is important to note that there is no significant difference between age groups and the majority of Russians, regardless of age, point to the short-term possibilities of living on their savings.
3. The proportion of those among Russian citizens who have someone close, or acquaintance being mobilized has been constantly increasing since the beginning of the full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022: 70% of respondents now say that they know someone who was conscripted. However, the dynamics of answers regarding those killed in action is even more important - 55% in September 2023 (versus 30% in December 2022) answered that they knew someone of these Russians.
4. 69% of respondents wouldn’t support a new wave of mass mobilization. On average, 60% of Russians expressed lack of support for such a step during 2023. With the advent of autumn, this figure has increased more significantly and reflects the stable attitude of Russian society.
5. A relative majority (44%) of Russian citizens consistently want the so-called “SMO” to end no later than in a couple of months or six months. Every fifth person believes that it will last one or two years, and only 13% are in favor of an indefinite war until complete victory. The tendency to end the war as soon as possible prevails among Russian citizens, even though only 5% are confident that all its goals have already been achieved and 44% of those who believe that the goals have been only partially achieved.
6. The reluctance of new waves of mass mobilization and the desire for a quick of the war against Ukraine do not prevent Russians from constantly supporting possible military actions against other countries: support of possible military aggression against the Baltic states remains almost unchanged throughout 2023. Only 22% of respondents under no circumstances would support the so-called “SMO” against Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. At the same time, the majority of Russian citizens would support such actions in case of a threat of an attack from the Baltic countries against the Russian Federation (55%), 20% would support new “SMO” if the Russian-speaking population was oppressed in these countries, and another 13% would consider the recognition of the Baltic regimes as Nazi to be such a ground for Russia. The attitudes of Russians regarding support of the “Special Military Operation” against Poland are almost identical.
7. 45% of Russians believe that restoration of historical justice is more important than internationally recognized borders. 39% of respondents have the opposite opinion. The difference between generations in this matter is quite clearly visible: the middle and, especially, the older generation tend to recognize the primacy of historical justice over international law and borders. In turn, most young people under 30 years believe that recognized borders are more important than historical justice.