#14. The first phase of a special military operation in the minds of Russians

Post-release #14, October 22, 2022

Analysis based on data from six waves of the Chronicle was done by Nadia Evangelian and Andrei Tkachenko

 

Summary

Over the course of four months (from late February to early July 2022), we conducted six measurements of the Russians' attitudes toward the "special operation":

  • Wave 1: February 28 to March 2

  • Wave 2: March 10 to 13

  • Wave 3: March 26 to 30

  • Wave 4: April 13 to 18

  • Wave 5: May 14 to 19

  • Wave 6: June 29 to July 5

After analyzing the data from all waves, we have identified the most constant and significant factors of support and non-support for the special military operation.

The prerequisites for support primarily include receiving information about the "special operation" from traditional (i.e. official) media – television, radio, and newspapers – and trusting this official information. In addition, confidence in Russia's victory and anticipation of a rapid end to the "special operation" is of critical importance. Its protraction reduces faith in victory and readiness to continue supporting the special military operation.

Virtually no positive changes and events in the respondents' lives (a new job, increased shopping opportunities, frequent communication with loved ones, or joyful moods) that have occurred since late February affect their positive attitude toward the "special operation". However, the respondents who had their income increased during these months tend to support the special military operation.

At the same time, negative changes in their lives – such as anxiety disorders or a drop in material well-being – greatly reduce one’s support for the "special operation". These factors are stronger than a subjective assessment of the family's financial situation, which is both less significant and less constant in its significance. However, it is not low income or a decrease in the quality of life, but the anticipation of an even greater deterioration of material well-being that decreases support for the special military operation to the greatest extent.

As for socio-demographic factors, the most significant and stable factor is that of age: middle-aged respondents are less inclined to support, and young people are radically less supportive of the "special operation" than older respondents.

We attempted to calculate an interval for the "core" of convinced support for the "special operation", that is, such support that does not contradict the answers to other questions, and we realized that this interval varies greatly. The difficulty in "capturing" the core or even the interval of the core of support for the special military operation is not only related to the fact that we include different questions in the models. The answers of respondents who support the special military operation are quite contradictory, which can be explained by at least three reasons: deliberately untruthful answers, lack of a clear position and, consequently, choosing either a random or the safest answer, and a different interpretation of the questions.

As for whether surveys are trusted under conditions of censorship, we do not see an increase in the number of refusals to take the survey. Respondents still consent, and in general we do not see that, having consented to be interviewed, respondents would avoid answering specific questions en masse, for example, often finding it difficult to answer. However, there are some questions that do cause great difficulty: these are mostly political, prognostic or analytical questions. Respondents' refusal or difficulty in giving an unequivocal answer about their attitude toward the "special operation" correlates with their doubts regarding other complicated questions as well. In other words, it is likely that respondents in general do not have a definite position on many "sensitive" issues.

We also analyzed the dynamics and factors of optimism in forecasting the financial situation. In the spring, respondents were anticipating a more stable financial situation than at the beginning of the special military operation. Younger respondents were predicting a more stable financial situation than were older respondents. At the same time, materially disadvantaged respondents anticipated an even greater deterioration in their financial situation. Traditional media allowed respondents to make more optimistic predictions, while following information from the Internet made predictions more pessimistic.

We have also seen an increase in people's life problems and anxieties because of the special military operation. Low-income citizens and women encountered significant problems and anxiety. Young people also encounter more problems because of the special military operation, but they do not show more anxiety. Traditional media decrease anxiety levels, while Internet use raises them, especially for those respondents who use VPNs.

2. Support Figures

2.1. Socio-demographic support factors

Throughout all the surveys, we were asking respondents different questions, but there is a set of variables common to all waves. In essence, they are an expanded set of socio-demographic parameters: sex, age, education, employment, type of settlement, residence on the border with Ukraine, as well as three regional parameters taken from official public sources: the unemployment rate for 2021, gross regional product per capita for 2020, and median per capita income for 2021. All of these variables can be analyzed as factors of support for the "special operation".

The wording about the attitude towards the special military operation has been varying. In Wave 1, we asked a dichotomous question about "military action": "Please indicate whether you support or do not support Russian military action on the territory of Ukraine?" In Wave 2, we asked about the "military operation", asking a dichotomous question in one part of the sample, and an extended question in another part of the sample, with the option to find it difficult or refuse to answer the question. In the next four waves, we continued to use the extended wording.

Table 2.1.1 – Dynamics of answers to the question about the attitude towards the special military operation (%)
Table 2.1.1 – Dynamics of answers to the question about the attitude towards the special military operation (%)

* Wording: Please indicate whether you support or do not support Russia's military actions on the territory of Ukraine

** Wording: Please indicate whether you support or do not support Russian military action on the territory of Ukraine, find it difficult to answer unequivocally, or do not want to answer this question?

In the Wave 1 of the Chronicles, which took place from February 28 to March 2, the share of support for the special military operation was 59%. Among these factors, the only significant ones were age and residence in regions bordering with Ukraine: Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kursk, Rostov Oblasts, Krasnodar Krai (de jure), and the Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol (de facto). Residence on the border with Ukraine increased the likelihood that the respondent would express support for the special military operation. At the same time, an open stance of non-support for the special military operation correlated with the age of the younger (18-34) and middle (35-54) age groups.

Table 2.1.2 – Factors of support for the special military operation, February-March (old wording)
Table 2.1.2 – Factors of support for the special military operation, February-March (old wording)

We conducted Wave 2 of the survey between March 10 and 13, 2022. The sample was divided into three parts: the first 40% of respondents were asked a dichotomous question about the special military operation at the end of the questionnaire, the second 10% were asked a dichotomous question about the special military operation at the beginning of the questionnaire, the third 50% were asked an extended question with open options "Refuse to answer" and "Difficult to answer" at the beginning of the questionnaire. In the first case, the support rate was 72%, in the second, 62%, and in the third, 63%. If we look at open non-support, in the first case the share of non-support was 13%, in the second - 17%, in the third - 7%. Similarly, the percentage of those who found it difficult to answer was 15% in the first case, 21% in the second, and 17% in the third. Thus, the transition from the old wording to the new one (at the beginning of the questionnaire) reduces the non-support from 17% to 7%, and also reduces the share of those who find it difficult to answer from 21% to 17% (provided that the question is asked at the beginning of the questionnaire). In other words, it is exactly non-supporters for whom the possibility to evade is useful in order to guarantee their safety. In Wave 6, we also showed that the evasive and the overtly non-supporting respondents are quite similar in demographic characteristics (and other non-sensitive issues), while the supporting ones are nowhere near the unsupporting ones in these characteristics.

In this March wave, a region's location at the country's border is already insignificant for the expression of open support for the special military operation. In the model with the first wording of the question, we see several factors influencing the decrease in support. The most significant ones are age and median per capita income in the region for 2021. Respondents in the younger (18-34) and middle (35-54) age groups are less likely than respondents in the older (55+) age group to openly express support for the special military operation. Also, as median per capita income in a region increases, the likelihood of open support for the special military operation decreases. In addition, respondents with a higher education (both men and women) are less likely to support the special military operation than respondents without a higher education.

Table 2.1.3 – Factors of support for the special military operation, mid-March (old wording)
Table 2.1.3 – Factors of support for the special military operation, mid-March (old wording)

In the subsample with the extended question wording, the number of significant factors is reduced to one: respondents in the younger age group are less likely to express support for the special military operation than respondents in the older age group (Table 2.1.4). Most likely, the reduction in the number of significant factors is due to the fact that the answers are distributed among 4 options instead of two, i.e. there is a "blurring" of the predictors' significance. Moreover, while some groups of respondents were more inclined to express false support in the straightforward question (like respondents without a higher education), the difference between respondent groups in their attitudes toward the special military operation decreases in the extended wording, when they can evade the question.

Table 2.1.4 – Factors of support for the special military operation, mid-March (new wording)
Table 2.1.4 – Factors of support for the special military operation, mid-March (new wording)

In all subsequent surveys, age appears to be the strongest factor in attitudes toward the special military operation. This is especially true for younger respondents, but middle-aged respondents are also significantly less likely to support the "special operation" than older respondents.

In Waves 3 and 6, women with a higher education become a significant factor in the non-support for the special military operation (Tables 2.1.5 and 2.1.8).

The influence of residence in the border areas is inconsistent: in late February, late March and in mid-May, this parameter was a significant factor for support for the special military operation (Tables 2.1.2, 2.1.5, 2.1.7), whereas in the rest of the surveys it was not.

In addition, in three waves – late March, mid-April, and mid-May – employed respondents were more likely to support the special military operation than non-employed respondents (Tables 2.1.5, 2.1.6, and 2.1.7). However, in early July, employment as a support factor was insignificant.

This analysis shows that across all six waves of the survey, the most stable factors have been those affecting non-support for the special military operation: primarily, young age, as well as women with a higher education. By contrast, the special military operation support factors are volatile – at least the ones we can trace over time. As we see it, this volatility is explained by the dynamics of the consequences of the special military operation and the role of the traditional mass media.

Table 2.1.5 – Factors of support for the special military operation, late March
Table 2.1.5 – Factors of support for the special military operation, late March
Table 2.1.6 – Factors of support for the special military operation, mid-April
Table 2.1.6 – Factors of support for the special military operation, mid-April
Table 2.1.7 – Factors of support for the special military operation, mid-May
Table 2.1.7 – Factors of support for the special military operation, mid-May
Table 2.1.8 – Factors of support for the special military operation, early July
Table 2.1.8 – Factors of support for the special military operation, early July
2.2. Other support factors

In addition to a set of socio-demographic variables, we can also analyze how other parameters, which were included in our surveys at various times, affect attitudes toward the special military operation. These include an assessment of the respondents’ financial situation, sources of information about the "special operation," and changes in the respondents' lives.

The first wave had the shortest questionnaire. Besides the core question, we only asked about trusting official information about the military actions and the use of social networks and messengers.

As expected, attitudes toward the special military operation correlate with trust in official information: the lower the trust, the more likely the respondent is to be among the opponents of the military operation.

As for social networks, only Odnoklassniki users support the special military operation. The users of VKontakte and Instagram, on the contrary, are rather not in the camp of supporters. Obviously, the use of various networks correlates with the age of the respondents.

Table 2.2.1 – Social media, trust in official information, and residence in regional capitals as factors in attitudes toward the special military operation, February-March 2022
Table 2.2.1 – Social media, trust in official information, and residence in regional capitals as factors in attitudes toward the special military operation, February-March 2022
Information Sources

In Wave 2, we asked what sources respondents use to receive information about the "special operation". In both the first, dichotomous, version of the question about attitudes towards the special military operation, and the second, expanded version, we see a stable positive influence of traditional mass media – television and radio – on the support for the "special operation", among men and women alike. We also observe in both cases that men receiving information about the "special operation" from the Internet were more inclined to express support for the special military operation than women, i.e. the Internet had a stronger influence on men's opinion about the "special operation" than on women's opinion (Tables 2.2.2 and 2.2.3).

In the dichotomous version of the question, both men and women who were receiving information about the "special operation" from acquaintances and relatives were inclined to not support the special military operation. When we changed the wording to the extended version, this factor ceased to be significant (Tables 2.2.2 and 2.2.3). Most likely, this is related not so much to the wording change as to the position of the question in the questionnaire: in the first case the question was asked after the question about information sources, in the second case (and with the new wording) – before the question about information sources. Perhaps the question about information sources is a shaping one for the answers to subsequent questions. Or vice versa: after expressing their attitude toward the special military operation, the respondent interprets the next question about the information sources as "which information source has affected your opinion". In any case, the interdependence of these two questions requires in-depth study and conducting further experiments.

The next time we asked the question about the sources of information was only in May, in Wave 5 of the Chronicles (Table 2.2.6). And here we also see a stable influence of traditional mass media – television, radio, newspapers – on the support of the special military operation by both men and women.

As for the Internet, the situation is more complicated in Wave 5. While in March men who were receiving information about the "special operation" from the Internet were more likely to support the special military operation, in mid-May this factor was no longer significant. In Wave 2 the influence of the number of Internet sources was not observed. However, further on, with the increase in the number of Internet sources that provide information about the special military operation, men would stop supporting the "special operation" (Table 2.2.7).

In Wave 6 of the Chronicles, traditional mass media are still significant for overt support of the special military operation. The Internet does not influence women's opinion, while men who receive information about the special military operation from the Internet are more likely to support the "special operation", the number of Internet sources being insignificant. However, respondents who use VPNs are more likely not to support the special military operation (Table 2.2.8).

This means that the traditional media have the same effect on everyone – men and women – and contribute to overt support for the "special operation". Internet information sources have a significant impact only on men. At the same time, under conditions of censorship and a decrease in available sources of information, the Internet becomes a factor of support for the special military operation. It becomes a factor of non-support either when the number of sources increases or when a VPN is used.

Regional Capitals

Residence in a town or village has no effect on overt support or non-support of the "special operation". We singled out the cities that are regional capitals (including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sevastopol as federal cities, and Krasnogorsk and Gatchina as capitals of Moscow and Leningrad oblasts) and checked the significance of residence in regional centers in the responses about support.

Only in two waves does this factor matter. In Wave 2 (mid-March), when the extended wording of the question was used, respondents from regional centers were more inclined to not express support for the special military operation. There is no statistical significance when the dichotomous wording is used, i.e. in Wave 2, when respondents were given an opportunity to not answer the question directly, residents of central cities began to evade the question or openly express non-support (Table 2.2.3).

In Wave 4 (mid-April), respondents from regional centers were also inclined to not support the special military operation (Table 2.2.5). There is no significant correlation in other surveys.

Assessment of the Financial Situation and Changes in Life

Beginning with Wave 2 of the Chronicles, we asked a question about assessment of their material well-being. The respondents' answers were aggregated into 4 groups in order to perform a regression analysis:

  • Low: There is barely enough money for food, and buying clothes and paying for housing and utility services is problematic.

  • Below Average: Enough money for food and clothing, but not enough for major appliances and durable goods.

  • Average: Enough money to buy major appliances, but not enough for a new car.

  • Above Average: There is enough money for everything, except for an apartment, a house + If necessary, could buy an apartment, a house.

The factor of respondents' material well-being is unstable. In Wave 2, this factor was not significant at all when the question about attitudes toward the special military operation was worded dichotomously (Table 2.2.2). In case of the extended wording, when respondents were able to find it difficult or refuse to answer the question, respondents with "low" self-assessment scores were more likely than respondents with "above average" self-assessment scores to not express support for the "special operation", answering that they did not support, found it difficult, or refused to speak (Table 2.2.3). In other words, when an opportunity presented itself to avoid giving a direct answer, the most financially disadvantaged respondents seized this opportunity.

In Wave 3 of the study (late March), this factor was insignificant for the expression of attitudes toward the special military operation (Table 2.2.4). In Wave 4 (April), the respondents with "below average" self-assessment scores did not support the special military operation more often than the respondents with "above average" self-assessment scores (Table 2.2.5). In Wave 5 (May) the same is observed in the group of respondents with "low" self-assessment score of material well-being: they more often than the most well-off group did not openly express support for the "special operation" (Table 2.2.6). In other words, in April-May the low-income groups responded less frequently than the high-income group that they supported the special military operation.

In July the situation changed: we see that the low-income groups, on the contrary, began to express support for the special military operation more often than the high-income group (Table 2.2.8).

This volatility is most likely associated with the subjectivity of one's assessment of their financial situation and its being unchanged for the respondent. In order to understand to a fuller extent how changes in the financial situation influenced the support for the special military operation, we analyzed the factor of the difficulties the respondents had been facing since March 2022. That is, the expression of attitude towards the special military operation can be influenced primarily by objective changes taking place in the respondents' lives, rather than by a subjective assessment of one’s own material well-being, which can depend on the adaptation effect.

We have been asking the question about life changes since Wave 3 of the Chronicles.

Wording in Waves 3-5: Which of the following has happened to you [in the last month/ in the last month and a half/ since the beginning of the military operation] in connection with the current situation in the country: 1. You have been laid off at work, 2. Your family's income has decreased, 3. You have bought food and household goods in advance, 4. You have had arguments or quarrels with people close to you on political issues, 5. You have had episodes of anxiety or depression.

In Wave 6, we expanded the question to include mirror positive life changes as well.

Wording in Wave 6: Which of the following has happened to you since early March 2022 in connection with the current situation in the country. I am going to read you some negative and positive situations. 1. You or someone in your family was laid off at work or you lost your business, 2. Your family income has decreased, 3. You had to save on food due to rising prices, 4. You have stopped communicating with some close friends and relatives, 5. You have had episodes of anxiety or depression, 6. You or one of your family members got a job/got a better job or started your own business, 7. Your family's income has increased, 8. You started to be able to afford to buy more products, goods and services, 9. You started to communicate with your close friends and relatives more often, 10. You started feeling inspired or happy more often.

For the regression analysis we selected the changes that are most obviously negative: layoffs at work, decreased income and episodes of anxiety and depression (in Waves 3-5), as well as – having to save money on food, having stopped communicating with loved ones (in Wave 6). Then we created a "hardship scale" for the sum of these negative changes – from 0 to 3 and from 0 to 5 in Wave 6.

In Wave 3, the hardship factor is insignificant (Table 2.2.4), but in all other waves (4-6) we see that the more hardship a respondent experiences, the less likely they are to support the special military operation (Tables 2.2.5, 2.2.6, and 2.2.8).

What negative changes in respondents' lives have the greatest impact on their lack of support for the "special operation"?

In late March, besides the question about the changes that have taken place, we asked whether respondents expected changes in their family's financial situation in connection with the sanctions. And we see that it is not even the negative changes that have already taken place, but the expectation of deterioration of material well-being that has a stronger influence on non-support. Of the three parameters, the most powerful predictor was emotional state: respondents who had been experiencing anxiety and depression since the start of the special military operation were more likely not to support the "special operation". Next in importance were layoffs at work and decreased income (Table 2.2.9).

In mid-April, layoffs at work become a less significant factor for negative attitudes toward the special military operation. The importance of decrease in income grows, but the strongest correlation we saw was still the one between non-support for the "special operation" and experiencing depression (Table 2.2.10).

In May, we asked again about expectations for the future: "In your opinion, in the next six months, will your financial situation (your family's situation) definitely worsen, rather worsen, remain the same, rather improve, or definitely improve?" Once again, we see that negative expectations have a much stronger influence on non-support for the special military operation than negative events that have already occurred or are occurring.

At the same time, in May, "decrease in income" becomes a slightly more significant factor than anxiety, and layoffs at work remain a less significant factor (Table 2.2.11).

In the July survey, four of the five parameters turned out to be significant: "having stopped to communicate with friends and relatives" did not correlate in any way with attitudes toward the special military operation. Of the remaining four, respondents' negative emotional state (anxiety/depression) is again the most powerful one, followed by the need to save money on food due to rising prices, shrinkage or loss of business, and decreased income (Table 2.2.12).

In Wave 6 of the Chronicles, we also asked about positive changes in recent months "in connection with current events". Of the five factors, only "increased income" was a significant factor in support for the special military operation (Table 2.2.13).

In addition to the psychological and economic factors, we should add that in Wave 3 having felt the impact of the sanctions is significant: those who have felt the impact of the sanctions imposed against Russia are less likely to openly express support for the "special operation". The correlating effect of support is a sense of being safe: the more a person supports the military operation, the safer they feel. Moreover, the correlation of security is stronger for support than the impact of sanctions for non-support, i.e. feeling safe in this matter is more important than material hardship.

Thus, initially, after the start of the "special operation", a decrease in income was not a factor of non-support for the special military operation, the respondents' state of anxiety being more significant. Gradually, a decrease in income is becoming equal to, and sometimes even more significant than, anxiety and depression as a correlation parameter for non-support for the special military operation. In early July, however, anxiety once again dominated among the predictors of non-support for the special military operation. At the same time, the significance of layoffs at work increases as well. In other words, psychological and economic factors of non-support for the "special operation" were predominant at different stages.

Support for the special military operation, on the other hand, correlates with increased income and feeling safe. It is important to note that negative changes have a stronger effect on non-support for the special military operation than positive changes do on support for it.

Table 2.2.2 – Information sources, assessment of the family's financial situation, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation (old wording), mid-March 2022
Table 2.2.2 – Information sources, assessment of the family's financial situation, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation (old wording), mid-March 2022
Table 2.2.3 – Information sources, assessment of the family's financial situation, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation (new wording), mid-March 2022
Table 2.2.3 – Information sources, assessment of the family's financial situation, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation (new wording), mid-March 2022
Table 2.2.4 – Assessment of family's financial situation, life hardships, feeling the impact of sanctions, feelings of security and anxiety, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, late March 2022
Table 2.2.4 – Assessment of family's financial situation, life hardships, feeling the impact of sanctions, feelings of security and anxiety, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, late March 2022
Table 2.2.5 – Assessment of family's financial situation, life hardships, ability to influence one's own life, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, mid-April 2022
Table 2.2.5 – Assessment of family's financial situation, life hardships, ability to influence one's own life, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, mid-April 2022
Table 2.2.6 – Information sources, assessment of family's financial situation, life hardships, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, mid-May 2022
Table 2.2.6 – Information sources, assessment of family's financial situation, life hardships, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, mid-May 2022
Table 2.2.7 – Information sources, assessment of family's financial situation, life hardships, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, mid-May 2022
Table 2.2.7 – Information sources, assessment of family's financial situation, life hardships, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, mid-May 2022
Table 2.2.8 – Information sources, assessment of family's financial situation, life hardships, VPN use, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, early July 2022
Table 2.2.8 – Information sources, assessment of family's financial situation, life hardships, VPN use, and residence in regional capitals as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, early July 2022
Table 2.2.9 – Negative life changes and expectations as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, late March 2022
Table 2.2.9 – Negative life changes and expectations as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, late March 2022
Table 2.2.10 – Negative life changes as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, mid-April 2022
Table 2.2.10 – Negative life changes as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, mid-April 2022
Table 2.2.11 – Negative life changes and expectations as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, mid-May 2022
Table 2.2.11 – Negative life changes and expectations as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, mid-May 2022
Table 2.2.12 – Negative life changes as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, early July 2022
Table 2.2.12 – Negative life changes as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, early July 2022
Table 2.2.13 – Positive life changes as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, early July 2022
Table 2.2.13 – Positive life changes as attitudinal factors toward the special military operation, early July 2022
2.3. The "core" of support: variations in measurements

In Wave 6 of the Chronicles, we attempted to measure the "core of convinced support". We assumed that respondents who did not support the special military operation were responding truthfully to this question. However, the group of "special operation" supporters may also include those who, without sincere support, simply conform to the views of the majority group around them, or who answered the question about support dishonestly (for example, those who do not actually support the special military operation, but were afraid to give such an answer). Our idea was to model a group of convinced support for the special military operation.

To this end, we took three questions – about personal benefit from a possible victory (note: not from any kind of termination of the special military operation, but specifically from a victory), about readiness to participate in the military operation or to donate money for the army's weapons. In fact, these three questions reflect, albeit to a different extent, how conscious the respondents are about their support for the "special operation". We calculated the core of convinced support for the special military operation (as an interval estimation) as a group of those respondents who support the special military operation, who are either willing to sacrifice something (give personal money to provide weapons for the army or participate personally in the special operation) or will receive some benefit from Russia's victory.

This interval was calculated as follows:

1) Lower boundary: open support for the "special operation" AND a positive answer to at least one of the following statements

  • Willingness to participate in the "special operation" OR

  • Willingness to donate money for the army’s weapons

This criterion is met by 30% of respondents from the entire sample.

2) Upper boundary: open support for the "special operation" AND a positive answer to at least one of the following statements

  • Willingness to participate in the "special operation" OR

  • Willingness to donate money for the army’s weapons OR

  • Expectations of a "personal benefit" from a possible victory (e.g., in the case of respondents who cannot physically go to war and who have no money, but they see value in the special military operation)

This criterion is met by 38% of respondents from the entire sample.

Therefore, in our opinion, the interval of support for the "special operation" between 30% and 38% is a more substantiated and consistent estimate of the level of support for the special military operation than the answers to a direct question (55% in Wave 6).

Since the questions rarely recur in our studies, we tried applying a similar technique on other variables. Let us note that such an approach is certainly not perfect; it equates conviction with consistency. We understand that respondents may sometimes tend to give contradictory answers, but we still assume that answers to essentially close, correlating questions should give a consistent picture.

Chronicles 1.0. In this wave, we have almost no additional questions. However, we ask about trusting official information about Russia's military actions in Ukraine. We assume that one can be convinced in supporting the "special operation" only if one trusts the official information about this "special operation". The percentage of respondents who support the special military operation and trust the information about it to a full or significant extent amounts to 43% on the sample.

Chronicles 2.0. In this wave, we repeated the question about trusting official information. We should remind our readers that in Wave 2 we used two wordings about the support for the special military operation - the dichotomous and the extended one. With the dichotomous question, the proportion of respondents who openly support the special military operation and trust the information about it to a full or significant extent is 53%. With the extended question, this proportion decreases to 50%.

Chronicles 3.0. In Wave 3, we selected two questions, each of which could indirectly indicate a respondent's probable support for the "special operation":

"In your opinion, what should be the priority of the Russian government today - achieving the goals of the military operation in Ukraine or saving the Russian economy?"

"Do you think Russia should push for the surrender of the Ukrainian army or should Russia terminate the military operation as soon as possible regardless of the surrender of the Ukrainian army?"

In this case, we can calculate the boundaries of the "core of convinced support" interval:

1) Upper boundary: open support for the "special operation" AND believing that the priority of the Russian government should be to achieve the goals of the military operation.

This criterion is met by 37% of respondents from the entire sample.

2). Lower boundary: open support for the "special operation" AND believing that the priority of the Russian government should be to achieve the goals of the military operation AND that Russia should push for the surrender of the Ukrainian army.

Surrender is seen here as one of the goals of the military operation, so there is an "and" and not an "or" between them.

This criterion is met by 25% of respondents from the entire sample.

Chronicles 4.0. In Wave 4 we once again chose the question about the surrender of the Ukrainian army, as well as the question about an immediate termination of the operation:

"Do you think Russia should push for the surrender of the Ukrainian army or should Russia terminate the military operation as soon as possible regardless of the surrender of the Ukrainian army?"

"If further development of the military operation depended on you personally, would you stop or would you not stop the operation right now?"

The interval of the "core of convinced support" is calculated as follows:

1). Upper boundary: open support for the "special operation" AND would not stop the "operation" right now.

This criterion is met by 59% of respondents from the entire sample.

2). Lower boundary: open support for the "special operation" AND would not stop the "operation" right now AND believing that Russia should push for the surrender of the Ukrainian army.

This criterion is met by 44% of respondents from the entire sample.

Chronicles 5.0. In Wave 5, two questions were selected to calculate the "core" of support:

"If further development of the military operation depended on you personally, would you stop or would you not stop the operation right now?"

"Do you think things in the country today are generally going in the right direction, or is the country on the wrong track?"

The "core of convinced support" interval is calculated as follows:

1). Upper boundary: open support for the "special operation" AND would not stop the "operation" right now.

This criterion is met by 55% of respondents from the entire sample.

2). Lower boundary: open support for the "special operation" AND would not stop the "operation" right now AND believing that things in the country are going exactly/rather in the right direction.

This criterion is met by 51% of respondents from the entire sample.

As we can see, the intervals of the "core" of convinced support, i.e., support that does not contradict the direct question about attitudes toward the "special operation," vary depending on the questions we include in the model and also depending on the wave of the survey. Why is support for the special military operation inconsistent in its logic with responses to other questions that could indirectly confirm this support? For example, how is it possible that 70% of respondents say they support the special military operation, yet only 53% trust the information about it? There could be at least three explanations for this:

1. The respondent deliberately answers one or all of the questions insincerely for a variety of reasons (fear, desire to conform to the conventional view, maintaining "subordination" by not discussing or criticizing the leaders' decisions, etc.).

2. The respondent does not have a clear position on one of the questions (or on any of the questions), so they choose a random answer or one that they feel most comfortable with, without thinking about the logic and coherence of their statements.

3. The respondent answers sincerely, the answers are not contradictory according to their logic, they just interpret the questions in their own way, i.e. in fact they do not answer the questions that the operator asks them.

Table 2.3.1 – Percentage of responses to the direct question about the attitude toward the special military operation and intervals of support for the indirect questions
Table 2.3.1 – Percentage of responses to the direct question about the attitude toward the special military operation and intervals of support for the indirect questions

** Wording: Please indicate whether you support or do not support Russia's military actions on the territory of Ukraine.

** Wording: Please indicate whether you support or do not support Russian military action on the territory of Ukraine, find it difficult to answer unequivocally, or do not want to answer this question?

3. Duration of the special military operation

3.1. Anticipation of a near end to the special military operation as a factor of support for the "special operation"

The question about the anticipated timeframe for the end of the special military operation was asked in four waves of the study - twice in March, in May, and in July. In Chronicles 2.0, the wording of the question differs from the wording in subsequent waves.

The wording in Chronicles 2.0: In your opinion, will Russia's military operation on the territory of Ukraine end in a week, a month, six months, a year, more than a year, or will it never end?

The wording in Chronicles 3.0, 5.0, 6.0: When do you think Russia's military operation on the territory of Ukraine will end - in how many months, in a year, in more than a year, or will it never end?

While it is not entirely accurate to compare the responses to this question in Chronicles 2.0 with those in the other waves, we can see that in general the special military operation was expected to be completed promptly in March (in the coming months) - this is also clear from Wave 3 of the survey, which was conducted at the very end of March.

The peaks of responses across all waves correspond to six months, a year or more (most likely, this is due to the respondents' tendency to rounding numbers). However, with each wave, expectations are postponed to a more distant future. A third of respondents consistently find it difficult to guess when the special military operation will end, but this indicator was at its highest at the very beginning (in mid-March) – 38%. Then it fell and has remained stable in the last two waves. In other words, although a significant part of the respondents cannot predict when the special military operation will end, the uncertainty does not increase over time, and at the same time more and more people feel that the "special operation" is dragging on.

Fig. 3.0 – Anticipated timeframe for the end of the special military operations in several waves of survey
Fig. 3.0 – Anticipated timeframe for the end of the special military operations in several waves of survey

Is the anticipated end time of the special military operation a factor in the attitude toward the "special operation" itself? As we can see, it is.

We identified a set of variables that are recurrent in three waves – Chronicles 3.0, 5.0, and 6.0 – and compared their influence on support for the special military operation in March, May, and July. The anticipated timeframe for the end of the "special operation" is an influential parameter in all three waves: the longer respondents believe the special military operation will continue, the less likely they are to support it, i.e., the time factor "plays" against the "special operation". However, while in late March and May the timeframe for the end of the special military operation is a less significant factor, in July its importance grows, as respondents increasingly associate their non-support for the special operation with predicting its long-term nature.

Table 3.1 – Factors of open support for the special military operation in Chronicles 3.0
Table 3.1 – Factors of open support for the special military operation in Chronicles 3.0
Table 3.2 – Factors of open support for the special military operation in Chronicles 5.0
Table 3.2 – Factors of open support for the special military operation in Chronicles 5.0
Table 3.3 – Factors of open support for the special military operation in Chronicles 6.0
Table 3.3 – Factors of open support for the special military operation in Chronicles 6.0

At the same time, in every survey the respondents who openly support the special military operation and those who explicitly do not support it diverge more in their estimates of the timeframe for the end of the "special operation". In Chronicles 3.0 respondents in both groups believed that the special military operation would be over in 5 months on average, in Chronicles 5.0 respondents who openly supported it expected an average of 8 months and those who did not support it – 9 months, while in Chronicles 6.0 respondents expected 8 months and 10 months, respectively. Supporters of the special military operation expect it to be completed more quickly than those who are openly unsupportive. It is likely that if the "special operation" drags on even longer, the share of the former group will shrink.

3.2. Prompt termination of the special military operation as a factor of confidence in the victory

The special military operation dragging on is a prerequisite for not supporting it, but it also contributes to a decrease in confidence in Russia's victory. The question of victory was asked in Waves 5 and 6 in somewhat different wording.

Chronicles 5.0 wording: In your opinion, will Russia eventually succeed or fail to achieve a military victory over Ukraine?

Chronicles 6.0 wording: In your opinion, will Russia succeed or fail in achieving victory in the special military operation in Ukraine?

In both cases, the longer respondents believe the special military operation will continue, the less confident they are about Russia's victory.

Table 3.4 – Prerequisites for a positive response about Russia's possible victory in Chronicles 5.0
Table 3.4 – Prerequisites for a positive response about Russia's possible victory in Chronicles 5.0
Table 3.5 – Prerequisites for a positive response about Russia's possible victory in Chronicles 6.0
Table 3.5 – Prerequisites for a positive response about Russia's possible victory in Chronicles 6.0

At the same time, 96% of respondents supporting the special military operation (in both waves) believe that Russia will be able to win. Essentially, these are interchangeable issues and related factors. Therefore, the protraction of the "special operation" has the same effect on them – it reduces both confidence in victory and support for the special military operation (as shown in the previous section).

4. The refusal factor

We make a distinction between refusals to participate in the survey and refusals to answer specific questions. Information about refusals to participate in the survey belongs to the paradata and is collected from the statistics of the dialing system. Here the "Refusal" status is assigned both to refusals at the greeting stage (soft, emphatic, silent hang-ups), and to aborted interviews, when a respondent had initially agreed to take the survey, but at some point changed their mind, and the interview was terminated.

In the statistics of the dialing system we see that the percentage of "Refusals" compared to all dialed numbers is changing slightly: in Chronicles 1.0 it was 5%, then it increased by 2 p.p. and returned to the 5% level again.

Table 4.1 – Dialing statuses in various waves of the study
Table 4.1 – Dialing statuses in various waves of the study

Interestingly, we changed the welcome wording about the purpose of the survey three times, but it apparently had no significant effect on the refusal rate.

In the first three waves of the Chronicles, the operators said that a study of "current public sentiment" was being conducted.

In Waves 4 and 5 the operators said that they were conducting a "study related to the consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the special military operation in Ukraine. Your opinion about the changes in the lives of Russians is important to us."

In Wave 6, the latest wave, they said that they were conducting a "study of the social and economic situation of the citizens of Russia. Your opinion about the changes in the lives of Russians is important to us."

Since the "Refusals" also include interview interruptions, we are able to verify at what stages of the survey respondents are most likely to stop the conversation. Here we do not observe any differences from surveys on neutral, less acute topics or from surveys conducted before the start of the "special operation". In general, respondents interrupt the interview during the first four or five questions, which, normally, relate to the socio-demographic characteristics of the person being interviewed. Even on sensitive questions, there are no abrupt interruptions of the interviews.

Based on these two facts – the stability of the refusal rate among the dialed numbers and the unchanged tactics of taking the survey – we conclude that the enforced censorship and informational background have not affected the level of distrust in surveys.

However, from the very same statistics of the dialed numbers, we see that the share of successful, i.e. complete, questionnaires is decreasing. That is, the system needs to dial more and more numbers to obtain the required number of questionnaires. At the same time, while the indicators of the statuses "Voicemail", "Questionnaire not accepted", "Call back", "Unsuitable for the assignment" and "Connection error" do not change, the shares of the statuses "The subscriber is busy" and "The subscriber does not answer" are very volatile. We assume that the share of complete questionnaires is decreasing due to the fact that numbers turn out to be either busy or not answering more and more often.

The call center specialists note that a similar problem can be detected in other surveys when generated, random phone numbers are used in the sample (as in "Chronicles"), rather than a panel. This is probably due to communication operators having developed various services (e.g. for spam calls) that "block" access to a potential respondent. But in addition, we assume that cell phone users in general are becoming increasingly suspicious of calls from unknown numbers due to frequent fraud and possibly due to an increase in general anxiety. Therefore, they are picking up the phone less and less frequently.

We record refusals to answer specific questions by selecting "Difficult to answer" or "Do not want to answer this question" (this option is available for sensitive questions). The normal proportion of "difficulties" is usually under 10%. For example, in "Chronicles" the share of "Difficult to answer" in the question about the level of education does not exceed 0.6%, in the question about self-assessment of material well-being - 5.5%.

The most ambiguous question during the entire period of survey was the question in Wave 2 of the Chronicles about the anticipated timeframe for the completion of the "special operation" - 38%. Apart from that, respondents most often find it difficult to answer political, analytical, and prognostic questions.

Waves 3, 5, and 6 of the Chronicles have the largest number of questions in which the non-response rate for the sample is over 10%. We refer to these questions as ‘difficult’ questions. The list of difficult questions by wave and the non-response rate are presented in the Appendix. For each such ‘difficult’ question and each respondent, we assigned a value of "1" if the respondent did not answer that "difficult" question, and 0 otherwise. We then added up these attributes on the ‘difficult’ questions for each respondent, thereby producing a scale ("Difficulty Scale > 10%"): in Wave 3 the scale ranged from 0 to 8 (i.e. there were 8 questions with a share of difficulties above 10%), in Wave 5 the scale ranged from 0 to 9, and in Wave 6 the scale ranged from 0 to 8.

Regression analysis shows that as the number of difficulties in answering difficult – political, analytical, or prognostic – questions increases, the probability of supporting the special military operation decreases (Tables 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4). In other words, the more the respondent doubts the answers to difficult questions, the more likely it is that they will not be able to answer unambiguously the question about the special military operation as well. And vice versa, the less the respondent doubts their answers to difficult questions, the more likely they are to give an unambiguous answer about their support for the special military operation.

Table 4.2 – Correlation of finding it difficult to answer ‘difficult’ questions and supporting the special military operation, late March 2022
Table 4.2 – Correlation of finding it difficult to answer ‘difficult’ questions and supporting the special military operation, late March 2022
Table 4.3 – Correlation of finding it difficult to answer ‘difficult’ questions and supporting the special military operation, mid-May 2022
Table 4.3 – Correlation of finding it difficult to answer ‘difficult’ questions and supporting the special military operation, mid-May 2022
Table 4.4 – Correlation of finding it difficult to answer ‘difficult’ questions and supporting the special military operation, early July 2022
Table 4.4 – Correlation of finding it difficult to answer ‘difficult’ questions and supporting the special military operation, early July 2022

Also in Waves 5 and 6 we asked respondents about their sources of information about the "special operation". In both cases, respondents who do not follow such information or who find it difficult to answer are more likely not to express support for the special military operation. Moreover, in Wave 6 respondents who do not trust any sources of information or find it difficult to answer the question about trust are also more likely to openly express non-support for the special military operation.

Table 4.5 – Correlation of lack of information and support for the special military operation, mid-May 2022
Table 4.5 – Correlation of lack of information and support for the special military operation, mid-May 2022
Table 4.6 – Correlation of lack of information, distrust to information sources, and support for the special military operation, early July 2022
Table 4.6 – Correlation of lack of information, distrust to information sources, and support for the special military operation, early July 2022

5. Anticipating Changes in the Financial Situation. Problems and Anxiety

5.1. Financial situation forecast

In this section, we have analyzed how the anticipated assessment of the financial situation has been changing and what factors are affecting it.

In Wave 2, the question was phrased as follows:

"In your opinion, in the next 12 months, will your financial situation (your family's situation) worsen, rather worsen, remain the same, hardly change, improve, rather improve?"

In Wave 3:

"In your opinion, will your financial situation (your family's situation) worsen due to the sanctions, rather worsen, remain the same, rather improve, improve?"

In Wave 5:

"In your opinion, in the next six months, will your financial situation (your family's situation) definitely worsen, rather worsen, remain the same, rather improve, or definitely improve?"

We grouped the answers "will definitely worsen" with "will rather worsen", and "will rather improve" with "will definitely improve". Table 5.1. shows the dynamics. From Wave 2 to Wave 5, respondents become increasingly confident that their financial situation "Will not change": the share changes from 32% to 42%. Similar dynamics are observed for both opponents and supporters of the special military operation; however, the share is 14-15 p.p. lower for opponents of the special military operation in all waves. Similar positive dynamics in the forecasts are observed for the answer "Will improve".

Table 5.4 shows the factors that affect the assessment of the anticipated financial situation, broken down by wave and by support for the special military operation. In Waves 2 and 5, we can see that respondents under 55 years of age who do not support the operation anticipate a better financial situation than respondents aged 55+, and also respondents aged 18-34 are more optimistic than respondents aged 35-54. In Wave 3, we see no consistent age impact, which is due to a slightly different wording of the question. Respondents with a higher education anticipate a lower financial position in Wave 2. In Wave 5, the impact of higher education is significant and is only negative for those who do not support the special military operation. In Wave 3, the impact is more likely to be significant for those who support the special military operation (the non-supporters of the special military operation also have a negative effect comparable to the supporters’ one).

Current financial situation plays a huge role in forecasting a future financial situation. In Waves 2 and 5, we see that the worse the current financial situation, the worse the anticipated future financial situation. That said, such forecasts are particularly negative when done by those who do not support the special military operation: they are significantly more pessimistic regarding the forecast throughout all waves and levels of financial standing. Rural residents are slightly more optimistic in their forecasts, but only in Wave 5 and only among non-supporters of the special military operation. Residents of near-border regions that support the special military operation are more optimistic in Wave 2, and residents in regions with higher average per capita incomes are more optimistic in Waves 2 and 5 due to those who support the special military operation.

Traditional media outlets increase the optimism of forecasts for all groups of respondents, while respondents who receive information about the special military operation from the Internet and who do not support the special military operation are more pessimistic, and this pessimism stays at the same level from Wave 2 through Wave 5. Respondents who have encountered a number of problems or have felt the effect of sanctions more profoundly are significantly more pessimistic in their forecasts.

5.2. Problems caused by the special military operation

In this section, we analyze the dynamics of the problems encountered by respondents, as well as the factors influencing them. Table 5.2 shows the dynamics by waves. In Waves 3 to 5, the frequency of problems, such as reduced household income or layoffs, as well as depression and anxiety due to the special military operation varied in the range of 52-54 p.p. In Wave 6, this figure jumped to 63 p.p. if we take the same list of problems or to 80 p.p. if we add to this list "stopping communicating with relatives and close friends" and "saving money due to rising prices". For all waves, we observe similar dynamics for the respondents who support and those who do not support the special military operation. There is also a steady pattern that there are 15 to 20 p.p. more of those experiencing problems among non-supporters of the special military operation.

Table 5.5 shows the parameters impacting the number of problems encountered by respondents. In all waves, women are significantly more likely to report problems caused by the special military operation, with the largest gap between men and women occurring in Wave 5. Across all waves, respondents under the age of 55 were significantly more likely to encounter problems than respondents aged 55+. There is also an increase in the gap between the 18-34 and 35-54 year old groups from one wave to the following one. Respondents aged 18-34 have more problems accumulated because of the special military operations, whereas some stability can be observed for respondents aged 35-54. The analysis of Wave 6 with a truncated number of problems shows that the increasing number of problems among young people is largely due to quarrels with their loved ones and rising prices. Respondents with a higher education who do not support the special military operation had more problems in Waves 3 and 4, but this pattern is not observed in Waves 5 and 6.

Across all waves, we observe a stable correlation regarding financial situation: regardless of their attitude toward the special military operation, respondents with low material status report more problems compared to wealthy respondents (presumably due to decreasing household income and layoffs). They naturally turned out to be less protected from economic shocks and, as a consequence, from emotional worries.

Getting information about the special military operation from traditional media reduces problems by alleviating anxiety and depression (see Table 5.6), especially for non-supporters of the special military operation (in Wave 6). Getting information from the Internet, on the other hand, significantly increases anxiety levels, also among those who do not support the special military operation (Table 5.6).

5.3. Anxiety and depression caused by the special military operation

In this section we analyze the dynamics of anxiety and depression that respondents experienced because of the special military operations as an emotional component of a set of problems. Table 5.3 shows the dynamics of anxiety broken down by waves and support for the special military operation. In Waves 3-5, the level of anxiety was 31-32 p.p., and in Wave 6, it jumped to 42 p.p. This trend is observed for both those who support and those who do not support tje special military operation. That being said, the gap between the levels of anxiety among those supporting and non-supporting the special military operation is quite stable across the waves, amounting to 12-18 p.p.

Table 5.6 reveals the parameters affecting the level of anxiety across the waves. Women were significantly more likely to experience depression and anxiety than men, as was the case with the rest of the problems. At the same time, we do not observe a correlation of age with anxiety levels. In Waves 3 and 4, respondents with higher education were more likely to experience anxiety because of those who did not support the special military operation, but this effect is not observed in Waves 5 and 6.

Respondents with a low financial position experience anxiety much more frequently, as compared to wealthy respondents, but this gap decreases from wave to wave: whereas in Wave 3 respondents with a low financial position experienced anxiety by 29 p.p. more frequently, in Waves 4 and 5 this value is 22 p.p., and in Wave 6 this value is 19 p.p. Similar patterns are observed among respondents with a financial situation below average.

Place of residence does not demonstrate a stable effect on anxiety. Receiving information about the special military operation from traditional media reduces the level of anxiety by 4 p.p. in Waves 5 and 6, while receiving information about the special military operation from the Internet increases it by 2 to 3 p.p. Communicating with family and friends increases anxiety by 6 p.p., but only in Wave 6. In addition to Internet use, using VPNs further increases anxiety levels.

Table 5.1 – Dynamics of answers to the question about the anticipated financial situation
Table 5.1 – Dynamics of answers to the question about the anticipated financial situation
Table 5.2 – Dynamics of answers to the question about having problems (a binary variable). In column Wave 6 (truncated), the sign of problems was considered based on 3 criteria (as in waves 3-5), instead of 5 criteria
Table 5.2 – Dynamics of answers to the question about having problems (a binary variable). In column Wave 6 (truncated), the sign of problems was considered based on 3 criteria (as in waves 3-5), instead of 5 criteria
Table 5.3 – Dynamics of answers to the question about anxiety/depression (a binary variable)
Table 5.3 – Dynamics of answers to the question about anxiety/depression (a binary variable)

In the following tables with the results of factor analysis, the following conventions are used:

легенда
Table 5.4 – Factors affecting anticipated financial situation, broken down by support for the special military operation
Table 5.4 – Factors affecting anticipated financial situation, broken down by support for the special military operation
Table 5.5 – Factors affecting the number of problems, broken down by support for the special military operation (part 1)
Table 5.5 – Factors affecting the number of problems, broken down by support for the special military operation (part 1)
Table 5.5 – Factors affecting the number of problems, broken down by support for the special military operation (part 2).  In column Wave 6 (truncated), the sign of problems was considered based on 3 criteria (as in waves 3-5), instead of 5 criteria
Table 5.5 – Factors affecting the number of problems, broken down by support for the special military operation (part 2). In column Wave 6 (truncated), the sign of problems was considered based on 3 criteria (as in waves 3-5), instead of 5 criteria
Table 5.6 – Factors affecting experiencing anxiety/depression, broken down by support for the special military operation (part 1)
Table 5.6 – Factors affecting experiencing anxiety/depression, broken down by support for the special military operation (part 1)
Table 5.6 – Factors affecting experiencing anxiety/depression, broken down by support for the special military operation (part 2)
Table 5.6 – Factors affecting experiencing anxiety/depression, broken down by support for the special military operation (part 2)

Appendix

List of questions with a "Difficult to answer" rate of 11% or more

Wave 3

  1. In your opinion, who is primarily to blame for the conflict between Russia and Ukraine - Western countries (USA, EU), Ukraine, the Russian authorities (the president, the government), someone else, or is there no one to blame, it is just the way things are? – 16%

  2. In your opinion, in a month, will social tensions, people's discontent increase, rather increase, remain unchanged, rather decrease, decrease? – 18%

  3. In your opinion, is Russia's cooperation with Western countries necessary for the development of the Russian economy or not? – 14%

  4. Do you think Russia should push for the surrender of the Ukrainian army or should Russia terminate the military operation as soon as possible regardless of the surrender of the Ukrainian army? – 18%

  5. In your opinion, which of the following scenarios would be sufficient for Russia to terminate its military operation in Ukraine? –13%

  6. In your opinion, what should be the priority of the Russian government today – achieving the goals of the military operation in Ukraine or saving the Russian economy? – 22%

  7. In your opinion, do most of Ukraine's population meet Russian troops in a friendly, neutral, or hostile manner? – 24%

  8. In your opinion, when will Russia's military operation on the territory of Ukraine end – in how many months, in a year, in more than a year, or will it never end? – 26%

Wave 5

  1. Do you think things in the country today are generally going in the right direction, or is the country on the wrong track? – 13%

  2. In your opinion, in the next six months, will your financial situation (your family's situation) definitely worsen, rather worsen, remain the same, rather improve, or definitely improve? – 14%

  3. In your opinion, in the next six months, will social tensions, people's discontent definitely increase, rather increase, remain unchanged, rather decrease, or definitely decrease? – 20%

  4. In your opinion, how dangerous is it today to speak out publicly against the military operation in Ukraine? Rate from 1 to 5, where 1 is not dangerous at all, and 5 is very dangerous. – 15%

  5. In your opinion, how dangerous is it today to speak out in personal conversations against the military operation in Ukraine? Rate from 1 to 5, where 1 is not dangerous at all, and 5 is very dangerous. – 13%

  6. In your opinion, should or should not Russians have the right to openly criticize the military operation in Ukraine? – 19%

  7. Are you personally/your loved ones ready or not ready to participate in the military operation in Ukraine? – 11%

  8. If further development of the military operation depended on you personally, would you stop or would you not stop the operation right now? – 13%

  9. In your opinion, when will Russia's military operation on the territory of Ukraine end - in how many months, in a year, in more than a year, or will it never end? – 29%


Wave 6


  1. Are you personally ready or not ready to participate in the military operation in Ukraine, find it difficult to answer unequivocally or do not want to answer this question? – 15%

  2. In your opinion, what percentage of Russians supports the special operation in Ukraine? Indicate the percentage approximately, from 0% to 100%. – 17%

  3. And what percentage of your family/close friends supports the special operation in Ukraine? Indicate the percentage approximately, from 0% to 100%. – 18%

  4. In your opinion, should Russians be able to openly criticize the military operation in Ukraine or should the authorities restrict this possibility? – 24%

  5. In your opinion, will Russia succeed or fail in achieving victory in the special military operation in Ukraine? – 13%

  6. In your opinion, what would the Russian government consider a victory in the special military operation in Ukraine? – 18%

  7. In your opinion, would or would not a possible Russian victory in a military operation in Ukraine bring you any personal benefit? If so, what kind of benefit will it bring to you? – 16%

  8. In your opinion, when will Russia's military operation on the territory of Ukraine end – in how many months, in a year, in more than a year, or will it never end? – 31%