April 06, 2022

A Question of Conviction


A Question of Conviction

“This is the state of someone who feels like a particle in the ocean. Someone else has decided everything for them. This learned passivity is our tragedy.”

– A political analyst regarding Russian support 

Five weeks since the start of Russia's invasion into Ukraine, the tide is turning for Russian public opinion: The New York Times has reported that public approval for the war has risen alongside President Putin's approval ratings.

Back in January Putin's rating was at 69%, and as of polls released this past week they have climbed to 83%. The official current approval rating for the war is at 81%. However, we should be cautious about polling during wartime. Dissenters may be less likely to voice their opinions. And considering the current climate in Russia, dissent could land you 15 years in prison.

Denis Volkov of independent polling agency The Levada Center reported that the group’s surveys revealed that even with the polls potentially having been influenced by the political climate, they do show that many Russians hold the belief that they must rally to their leader during a time of crisis.

While it is disheartening to hear that potentially 81% of Russians support the war, polls also show that the support is not enthusiastic. Of the Russians who support the war, 35% are barely paying attention to it. They are supporting it more out of reflex rather than out of real interest in the purpose behind it.

 

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