In an appeal to the Ukrainians, the Russians would tell them that they want peace and at the same time call on them to lay down their arms

The Institute for Conflict Studies and Analysis of Russia (IKAR) together with the sociological company Info Sapiens conducted an all-Russian sociological survey. During September 14-28, 2023, the field stage was conducted using an all-Russian sample. The survey method is CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview), namely a telephone survey based on an interactive structured questionnaire using special software for sociological surveys. Russians over 18 years old were proposed opened questions – without proposed response options. Below are generalized results of their answers. A total of 1,600 respondents were interviewed. The statistical error with a probability 0.95 doesn’t exceed 2,5%.

Main results:

  • Only 3% of Russians openly express their feelings of guilt towards Ukrainians. When asked what they would write in a short telegram to ordinary citizens of Ukraine, if they had such an opportunity, only a few percent answered that it would be "forgive us".

  • The most common telegrams from Russians to Ukrainians would be "We want peace, let's live peacefully" (13%), "Hang in there, everything gonna be okay" (10%), as well as " We are united as one nation, a brotherly nation" (8%).

  • About a quarter of Russians in their telegrams would call on the people of Ukraine in general to stop resisting and not to trust their government, because in their opinion, Russia has come to liberate them. About a quarter of the respondents do not know what they would like to write to Ukrainians or do not see any point in talking.

  • Female respondents mentioned the wish to live in peace somewhat more often than men, and also more often called on Ukrainians to stop the war.

  • The most noticeable among different socio-demographic groups are the answers to this question by representatives of different age groups. Russians over the age of 55 were more than three times more likely than young people to call on Ukrainians to stop resisting and trust their own government (40% vs. 12% respectively). In addition, the older generation was twice as likely to mention the desire to live in peace in their telegrams. On the other hand, young Russians under the age of thirty twice as often as older fellow citizens wanted Ukrainians to hang on there, because everything gonna be okay, and what is more important – five times more often they could not decide what to say to ordinary citizens of Ukraine.

  • The two main features that Russians attribute relatively often to their people are good-naturedness (14%) and patience (14%). In second place in terms of mentions are nobility and cohesion (7% each, respectively).

  • In general, the absolute majority of Russians name as one main feature that characterizes their people a positive one: in addition to those already mentioned, it is "fair", "strong", "resistant", "courageous", etc. Only 6% of respondents attributed bad characteristics ("stupid", "angry", "obedient", "weak", etc.) as the main characteristic of Russians. A total of 12% of respondents could not characterize the Russian people with any trait that is most characteristic of them.

  • Women, on average, more often attributed the good attitude of the Russian people to others and, comparatively less often than men, mentioned negative characteristics as the main feature.

  • Young people (18-30 years old) are more likely than older respondents to attribute to the Russian people such basic features as cohesion, firmness and strength. In turn, older Russians more often mention good-naturedness and patience. Young people twice as often could not answer the question about the main feature of their people.

  • Despite this, according to the proportions of those who chose negative characteristics to describe the Russian people, different generations hardly differ and make up 5-8%.

  • The main features with which Russians characterized the people of Ukraine relatively more often were: "greedy" (11%), "lying" (8%) and "deceived" (6%).

  • In general, the number of negative characteristics that the Russians give to the Ukrainian people is twice the number of positive features.

  • It is important to note that more than a third (36%) of the respondents could not answer the question about the main feature of Ukrainians.

  • Among the age differences in how Russians characterize the Ukrainian people, it should be highlighted that older respondents twice as often as young people under thirty years old call them greedy, lying and deceived. On the other hand, young respondents clearly cannot answer this question more often (40% vs. 27%, respectively).