NewsPublic support for nuclear strikes in Ukraine reaches alarming level

Public support for nuclear strikes in Ukraine reaches alarming level

Survey results among Russians
Survey results among Russians
Images source: © PAP | PAP/EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV
Katarzyna Bogdańska

5 July 2024 08:43

In June 2024, the Russian Levada Center conducted a public opinion poll revealing that more than one-third of respondents believe that the use of nuclear weapons in the conflict with Ukraine "may be justified." One in ten respondents expressed "strong" support for a nuclear attack, reported the Moscow Times.

According to the survey results, 24% of respondents consider a nuclear attack "somewhat" justified. The Levada Center, the only independent pollster in Russia, noted a 5 percentage point increase in the proportion of Russian supporters of nuclear escalation over the past year, marking a record level.

Nevertheless, the majority of respondents—52%—are still opposed to the use of nuclear weapons, although their proportion is steadily decreasing: in April 2023, it was 56%.

The survey found that the most excellent support for nuclear war is among retirees who regularly watch Russian television and "approve" of Vladimir Putin's actions. Among those aged 55 and older, the percentage who approve of the use of nuclear weapons is 35%, and among those who get their information from television, it is as high as 41%.

The percentage of Russians feeling proud of their country is increasing

Researchers noted that "the belief that the use of nuclear weapons cannot be justified is more common among young Russians (63% of respondents aged 18-24 agree with this view). It is even more common among those who believe the country is heading in the wrong direction (64%), and most common among those who do not approve of the current president's actions (72%)."

Russia's military actions in Ukraine primarily evoke feelings of pride in Russia (48%) or concern, fear, and horror (33%) among respondents. Since September of last year, the percentage of Russians feeling proud of their country has gradually increased (up 10 percentage points).

The survey was conducted from June 20 to June 27, 2024, on a representative all-Russian sample of 1,627 people aged 18 and older in 137 localities and 50 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. It was conducted through face-to-face interviews at the respondents' homes.

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