Russia's tricky opinion polling: Sociologist Alexey Bessudnov shares five charts
Sociologist Alexey Bessudnov shares five charts that help explain how to read the Kremlins survey data on support for the war in Ukraine
8:27 am, March 7, 2022
According to opinion polls from VTsIOM (the Russian Public Opinion Research Center) and FOM (the Public Opinion Fund), more than 60 percent of Russians support the special military operation in Ukraine. But those results should be taken with a grain of salt: the same polls show that millions of people are opposing the war. Also, among the young residents of big cities who rarely watch television and get most of their information from the Internet, the wars opponents are actually the majority. Exclusively for Meduza, University of Exeter sociologist Dr. Alexey Bessudnov offers the following analysis of the VTsIOM poll.
Meduza thanks Dr. Maya Vinokour at the NYU Jordan Center for this translation.
Chart 1. The results of two governmental opinion polls are nearly identical but dont prove that Russians support the war.
After the start of the military operations in Ukraine, two sociological polling companies VTsIOM and FOM conducted polls asking respondents about their attitude toward the ongoing events. The results show that approximately 65 percent of Russians tend to support the special military operation in Ukraine. But can these numbers be believed? After all, VTsIOM and FOM are controlled by the Russian government (the first belongs to the government outright, while the biggest client of the second one is the Presidential Administration).
( Very good info. )
Seriously, given the level of government oppression, even answering no to supporting the war in a phone survey would seem risky.
During the US Revolutionary War, most were "meh."
It's only during periods of "militant" whatever--"wartime socialism" (early Soviet), some phases of Stalinistic thought, Cultural Revolution--that "no opinion" = "betrayal." Lumpenmenschen don't much count, even then, unless there's a black mark against their record. Why? There's more than enough *active* disagreement to go around.
Say one thing, think another, do a third. Not a slogan of the proletariat.
"I'm too busy producing steel, I don't have time to think about these things." Granted, the politruk at the person's local factory might need to increase her agitprop, but the prole's safe. (Unless somebody wants the prole's job, apartment, wife. Or is just pissed off at him. Or the prole's parents were "suspect."
Need to add this on edit:
I have to wonder at the 20 or so men (mostly men) at the "demonstration." A Soviet flag--that's a leitmotif for the DNR and LNR. "Back to the USSR" wasn't just a Beatle's song, it was a motto. In 2014. In the Dumbass ... uh ... Donbas.
"Za Motorolu." Motorola? That's Anton Pavlov. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsen_Pavlov He was specifically from Kharkiv, and that Zhirinovsky gave him *anything* smacks of fascism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Zhirinovsky