After Russian President Vladimir Putin’s popularity already took a dip in September following continued losses by the Russian military forces and a partial mobilization of the population, support for the war the country is leading in Ukraine has now also started to cave.
According to a new survey by the independent institute Levada Center, 80 percent of Russian said in March that they supported the actions of Russian military forces in Ukraine, as the survey is putting it. This support dipped to 74 percent in April as the Russian population felt the brunt of international sanctions but it stabilized between 75 and 77 percent until August. In September, it reached a new low of just 72 percent.
The Russian state-controlled media environment explains why approval rating for Putin or the Ukraine war can stay so high despite the country now being extremely marginalized in the international community and enduring the hardships of sanctions and war mobilization. Despite the surveys carried out by an independent researcher, many Russians may still feel pressured to give a favorable opinion. Some believe war approval to actually be way lower.
As part of the same survey, Russians were asked what feelings the news of the mobilization caused in them. Fear was the most common answer given throughout all age demographics. The second most common answer varied by age group, however. Those above the age of 40 were also likely to feel pride for Russia, while those younger named shock as the second most common feeling in relation to the mobilization, followed by anger.