Fewer and Fewer Russians Support the War in Ukraine

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The British Ministry of Defence, in its latest intelligence estimate, has pointed to new signs from an independent Russian media outlet that public support in Russia for the military campaign was “falling significantly”.

Meduza, a website reporting Russian news from Latvia, says it had obtained a recent confidential opinion survey conducted by the Federal Protection Service, which is in charge of guarding the Kremlin and providing security to top government officials.

The survey, commissioned by the Kremlin, found that 55% of respondents backed peace talks with Ukraine while 25% wanted the war to go on. The report didn’t mention the margin of error.

Levada Center, Russia’s top independent pollster, found in a similar poll carried out in November poll that 53% of respondents supported peace talks, 41% spoke in favour of continuing the fight, and 6% were undecided. That poll of 1,600 people had a margin of error of no more than 3.4%.

The British MoD noted that:

Despite the Russian authorities’ efforts to enforce pervasive control of the information environment, the conflict has become increasingly tangible for many Russians since the September 2022 partial mobilisation.
“With Russia unlikely to achieve major battlefield successes in the next several months, maintaining even tacit approval of the war amongst the population is likely to be increasingly difficult for the Kremlin.

In recent weeks, Russia’s military focus has been on striking Ukrainian infrastructure and pressing an offensive in the east, near the town of Bakhmut, while shelling sites in the city of Kherson, which Ukrainian forces liberated last month after an eight-month Russian occupation.

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