Financial problems have become the biggest problem of Russians, and Russian youth do not want to personally participate in the war

The Institute for Conflict Studies and Analysis of Russia (ICAR) conducted a sociological study dedicated to the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion as part of the monitoring of Russian society called the "Mirror of Russia". From January 20 to February 3, 2024, a study was conducted on an all-Russian sample. The survey method is CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview), namely a telephone survey by interactive structured questionnaire using special software for sociological surveys. A total of 1,600 respondents were interviewed. The statistical error with a probability of 0.95 does not exceed 2.5%.

Main results of the survey:

  1. Financial problems finally sidelined the problem of the war for Russians: the problem of low salaries and pensions sounded as the main issue twice as often as "SMO". Thus, the trend toward a greater actualization of precisely the financial and economic challenges for ordinary Russians, which emerged at the end of last spring, finally solidified by the second anniversary of the full-scale war.

  2. Russians show a clear negative attitude towards a possible new wave of mass mobilization – during the second year of full-scale war, the number of those who do not support this step increased from 60% to 74% in January-February 2024. Those Russians who have the highest chances of being conscripted show especially clear rejection - 84% of young Russians aged 18-30 do not support the second wave of mass mobilization. In the second year of the war, this share among Russian youth increased from three quarters to this absolute value.

  3. This can be explained by the fact that more than 70% of Russians have relatives or acquaintances who have been mobilized since the beginning of 2022, and 60% knew those who died during this period. Among young people, the rate of those who lost several friends in the war is almost twice as high as the average number for all generations.

  4. During the second year of the full-scale war, the number of Russians who believe that it was worth starting has decreased: from 66% in February 2023 to 55% in January-February 2024. At the same time, the number of those who consider this step as a mistake has increased - from 22% to 34%.

  5. Accordingly, the share of Russian citizens who are sure that the "SMO" is going due to the plan has decreased: from 56% to 46%, and, accordingly, the opposite opinion express 40% against 27% on the first anniversary of the full-scale invasion.

  6. It is important that the changes also affected the understanding of the goals of the war: in the second year, the number of those who claim to understand them decreased from 74% to 64%. The most frequently mentioned goal is "denazification of Ukraine" (46% against 39% in 2023), "demilitarization of Ukraine" (16% against 9% in 2023), and a new goal was added to the top three - "preventing Ukraine from joining NATO" (13%).

  7. Only 22% and 24%, respectively, would not support an attack on Finland and Sweden under any circumstances. Most would be satisfied with the arguments used by Russian propaganda to justify full-scale aggression against Ukraine: the threat of an attack by these countries, oppression of Russian-speaking people in these countries, the definition of their regime t as Nazi, and closer cooperation with NATO. In general, these sentiments are almost identical to the willingness of Russians to support the "SMO" against the Baltic states and Poland recorded in 2023.