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Chronicles 7

Mobilization: an express survey

On September 21, Vladimir Putin introduced "partial" mobilization in Russia. The same evening we launched an express survey to measure the Russians' attitude towards the mobilization and the war.


We surveyed 1000 Russian citizens by randomly selected mobile numbers on September 21-22, and held the same survey among the other 800 respondents on September 28-29 to learn that:​

declared support for the "special operation" continues to fall and has once again reached a historic minimum;


the groups supporting and opposing the war have almost equaled: there are 25–26% of "militarists" and 17–18% of "open pacifists" in Russia now;


73% of the mobilization supporters watch TV and believe that they personally will not be affected by the mobilization;


wealthy Russians say they are ready to go to the front twice as often as those with low and middle incomes.


Support for the war continues to fall

The beginning of July saw a turning point in the Russians' attitudes towards the war. The drop in support continues: now the declared support for the "special military operation" equals 51%, as compared to 55% in July and 66% in April. Though the number of mobilization supporters equals 51-54%, their support of the war has also decreased by 5% within a week.


"Militarists" & "open pacifists" are almost
neck and neck

Under conditions of censorship, the answers to a direct question about support for the "operation" do not provide a reliable picture. To find out the actual number of "militarists" (war supporters) and "open pacifists", we used additional questions:


on the support/non-support for "partial" mobilization


on whether respondents would approve of the president's decision to withdraw troops without achieving set objectives and to begin peace talks

We got three groups:



Would support any decision of the authorities




"Open Pacifists"*

Overtly support neither mobilization nor the "operation"; would support the decision to withdraw troops and begin peace talks

Support the "operation", approve of the mobilization, would not support Putin's decision to withdraw troops without achieving set goals

In our previous studies we found that many opponents of the war fear for their safety and therefore choose the option "I don't want to answer this question," accordingly, the group of 17–18% includes only those who are not afraid to state their position openly.


Who supports the mobilization?

73% of those who said they approved of the mobilization receive information from the TV and believe that they personally will not be subject to mobilization.


Of the Russians subject to mobilization in the first place (18–29 and 30–39 years old), 78% and 69%, respectively, said they were not ready to participate in the war or found it difficult/refused to answer the question.

Respondents who "if necessary, could buy an apartment/home," or "have enough money for everything, except such expensive purchases as an apartment/home," twice as often as other Russians said they were ready to go to the front: 60% against 29%.


37% of respondents described themselves as ready to go to the front (voluntarily or by an order). The most "ready" for participation in the "special operation" is the group of 50–59 year olds (48%). The readiness to fight is also high among respondents aged 40–49 and over 60 (41%).


35% of Russians are not ready to fight, either voluntarily or by an order. All in all, 46% of men and 77% of women said they would not go to the front, had difficulty answering, or refused to answer.

Why is mobilization supported?

We asked the respondents who approved of the mobilization an open-ended question: "For what reason do you support the decision to begin mobilization in Russia?"


Most answers (67%) reproduce propaganda clichés: "there is no other way out, the homeland is in danger, it is necessary to protect it (from the rest of the world), to help the army and the authorities." Wealthy Russians often talk about the "duty of a citizen/patriot".


Few supporters of mobilization mentioned Donbas and the "extermination of fascists" (8–9% each). 15% of those who supported mobilization said it had been necessary so that the war could end soon.

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