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Chronicles 12

The latest Chronicles survey

2 years of war and citizens’ expectations from the “special electoral operation”


On January 23-29, the Chronicles research project conducted an all-Russian survey in which 1,602 respondents participated. The main topics of the survey were the attitude of Russians towards war and mobilization, as well as studying the difference between the desires of citizens and their expectations from the winner of the “special electoral operation”.

Over the year, the number
of consistent supporters of the war has decreased

The number of respondents declaring support for the war is uninformative and misleading (since it includes a wide range of opinions from “I lie because I fear persecution” to “I volunteered for the front”), so we use a combination of 3 questions to estimate the number of consistent supporters of war and peace:

  1. Attitude towards "special military operation"

  2. Attitude towards the withdrawal of troops from the territory of Ukraine without achieving the goals of the war

  3. Attitude to the priorities of the state budget: for the army or for the social sphere

We consider consistent supporters of the war to be those who simultaneously expressed support for the war, would not support the decision to withdraw troops from the territory of Ukraine without achieving the goals of the war, and who believe that the budget priority should be the army. In February 2023 they were 22%, in October 2023 — 12%, in January 2024 — 17%. So over the year, their number decreased by almost a quarter.

Снимок экрана 2024-02-23 в 21.57.37.png

Wouldn't support decision to withdraw without reaching goals of the war

Believe that army expenses should be the priority

Consistent supporters of the war

Expressed support for the war





We consider consistent peace supporters to be those who at the same time did not express support for the war, would support the decision to withdraw troops from the territory of Ukraine without achieving the goals of the war, and who believe that the budget priority should be spending on the social sphere. In February 2023 they were 20%, in October 2023 — 18.5%, in January 2024 — 19%.

Снимок экрана 2024-02-23 в 21.58.06.png

Would support decision to withdraw without reaching goals of the war

Believe that social spending should be the priority for the budget


Russians with consistent pro-peace position

Didn't express support for the war






Mobilization: bring people home,
do not mobilize any more

We asked respondents the question: “Some believe that a new mobilization is necessary to replace those mobilized in the fall of 2022. The latter believe that everything should be left as it is. Still others believe that it is necessary to return those mobilized home without conducting a new mobilization. Which point of view is closer to you - the first, second or third?


The least popular option is new mobilization (17%). The most popular option is to return those mobilized home without conducting a new mobilization (29%). 26% were in favor of maintaining the current state of affairs. It is interesting that among citizens who declare support for the war, the distribution of opinions does not differ as much as one might expect: only 22% are in favor of a new mobilization, another 34% would prefer to leave everything as it is, and 12% are in favor return of those mobilized home without a new mobilization.


Russians want an end to the war and friendship with the West, but Putin is expected to mobilize and increase spending on the army

We asked how respondents see the future of the country after the elections if Putin or a conventional “ideal” candidate wins, and we also asked respondents about their desired future. We asked a third of the respondents about their expectations from Putin if he wins, a third about their expectations from the “ideal” candidate, and another third about what events they would like to see in the coming year.

Снимок экрана 2024-02-23 в 23.12.40.png

Distribution by events for each scenario

If we compare the likelihood of events (the first and second options) and their desirability (the third option), it becomes obvious that there is a large gap between what kind of future people want and what they expect from both Putin's next term and from another candidate (although there is certainly a difference between the last two).


For all conditionally “positive” events that the majority of respondents consider desirable, Putin “loses” to the ideal candidate. This is logical: respondents have their own “ideal candidate,” one who is close in their assessment of the situation and vision of the country’s future. But on the issues of a truce, lifting sanctions and improving relations with Western countries, the differences between Putin and the ideal candidate are only a few percent — obviously, respondents understand that even an ideal candidate will find it difficult to solve these problems. Nevertheless, even ending the war with the achievement of the goals is expected from the ideal candidate more than from Putin.


It is worth noting that respondents with low incomes are more skeptical about the actions of the new president, be it Putin or a conventional ideal candidate. Their desires do not differ much from the desires of respondents with average and high incomes, while people with low income were more likely to talk about changing the focus on the country’s socio-economic problems and were more afraid of mobilization.


Overall, neither Putin nor the “ideal candidate” satiates voters’ demand for positive change in 2024-2025. Whoever wins the elections, respondents expect from him only what they least want — mobilization and increased budget spending on the army. On the one hand, this speaks of the pessimism of respondents, on the other, of a huge demand for changes, primarily to end the war and switch the focus from an aggressive foreign policy to solving internal problems and restoring relations with Western countries.

Voting strategies: not for Putin = against war

There is an interesting pattern between the respondents’ strategy of (non)participation in voting and their declared attitude towards the “SVO”: refusal to participate in the vote or choosing any other candidate other than Putin correlates either with clear disagreement with what is happening in Ukraine (in the case of the “protest” "group), or with a desire to neutralize the military agenda (in the case of voters of other candidates, even those loyal to the authorities). It can be cautiously assumed that the SVO is viewed by non-Putin voters solely as a “program” of the current president, and not as a necessary measure or something inevitable, say, under a different president. Respondents in this group can present an alternative image of the future of Russia — different from what, in their opinion, V. Putin offers.

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