Chronicles 5.0

On May 14-19, we conducted the 5th wave of research to learn the following:

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according to Russian respondents, the longer the war lasts, the fewer chances Russia has to win;

 

the number of those who believe that the war will end in 6 months or sooner has dropped by 40% within a month; of those who would NOT stop the war, even if they had the chance, – by almost 10%;

 

a quarter of war supporters do not understand its aims;

 

 

those allegedly “ready” to go to war are mostly aged 49-58; the Russians under 35 are reluctant to fight;

 

rural residents and those living in regions with higher unemployment rate are more likely to go to war than urban dwellers having at least a low-paid job;

 

the Russians are no longer expecting their financial situation to worsen but they also do not expect social tensions to go down.

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The longer
is Russia at war,
the less are

its chances to win

We asked our respondents: "When do you think the Russian military operation on the territory of Ukraine will end?" and compared the answers with those received at the end of March (Chronicles 3.0). In March, 56% of the Russians expected the war to end within 1-6 months. In May, the number of “optimists” decreased by more than a third, dropping to 34%.

Collation of answers on the expected end date of the war with answers on its anticipated outcome shows that the longer the war drags on, the less people in Russia believe their country will win. Not surprisingly, the number of the Russians who, if they could end the war immediately, would not do so has dropped by nearly 10 percent within about a month.

Such respondents either admitted they could not say what the purpose of the "special operation" was, or said that the purpose was "whatever the president/government/army set", or could not at all provide an answer.

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of those who say they support the “special operation” are unable to clearly articulate its purpose
24%

Unemployed
rural residents

are the ones
ready to fight

51% of the Russians would not take part in the "military operation" in Ukraine and do not believe any of their relatives/close friends are willing to participate either.

39% of respondents called themselves or someone close to them ready to participate. 11% found it difficult to answer. 

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NB: A statement of readiness to participate in the war and actual readiness to take part in it are different things.

People aged 49-58 are most likely to say they are ready to take part in the "special operation": they account for a quarter of positive answers. Young Russians aged 18-29 are the least willing to fight (11%). 

The most frequent prerequisites for readiness to participate in the war are 

  • living in the countryside 

  • unemployment.

 

Townspeople and respondents with a low and below-average assessment of their financial standing who still have jobs are unlikely to be eager to take part in the "special operation". In other words, those who wish to go to war are the ones with no other opportunities to earn a living.

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Relatives of 15% of Russians are already taking part in the war

We asked the Russians if anyone close to them already took part in the "operation”.

 

In regions where heavy losses have been recorded (the Republic of Buryatia, the Republic of Dagestan, the Volgograd Region, the Chelyabinsk Region, the Krasnodar Territory, the Republic of Bashkortostan, the Orenburg Region, the Stavropol Territory) respondents more frequently confirmed participation of their relatives in the war.

Yet again, the respondents’ relatives were more likely to be taking part in hostilities if the respondents came from the regions with higher unemployment rate.

Residents of the territories bordering Ukraine more often than others stated their willingness to take part in the "operation" ― but the de-facto percentage of people from these areas whose relatives take part in the war does not differ from other regions.

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Russians hope not to become poorer but they feel social tensions

In the April survey, 48% of the Russians said they expected their financial situation to worsen. In the May survey, only 27% said so. 

At the same time, when asked about social tension in April, 28% expressed a hope that it would decrease in the coming six months. In May, the number of such “optimists” fell to 18%. 

The number of those who argue with their relatives over politics remains the same and equals to a quarter of the Russians.

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