April 12, 2022
A new Chicago Council-Levada poll reveals the Russian public appears to be buying Putin's explanation for "military operation" in Ukraine.While the whole world seems to be watching the Russian "special military operation" in Ukraine, a new joint survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Levada Center conducted March 24–30 shows that most people living in Russia are not following these events closely. Nevertheless, a majority of Russians say they support their country's military action—with just over half strongly backing it. For the most part, Russians think these actions are being taken to protect and defend fellow Russians and Russian speakers in Ukraine, to protect Russia itself, or to "denazify" Ukraine—storylines that have been amplified by the Russian government's media apparatus. But as the conflict drags on, it may become more difficult to sustain this support, especially as the casualty rates are uncovered and the economic repercussions of the Western sanctions begin to more seriously affect Russian households.