Surprising development in Russia: They want the war to stop

Written by Henrik Rothen

Nov.16 - 2023 10:25 AM CET

Surprising development in Russia.

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In a recent survey by Russian Field, nearly half of Russian citizens expressed support for President Vladimir Putin to seek a peaceful resolution to the war in Ukraine.

This survey, conducted between October 21 and 29, involved 1,611 participants. It revealed that 48% favor peace negotiations with Ukraine, while 39% support the continuation of Russia's military operations.

According to Newsweek, the survey showed a demographic divide in opinions. Male respondents and those over 45 years old were more inclined to back the invasion, whereas women and younger participants preferred negotiation. This data represents the highest support for a peaceful resolution since Russian Field started polling in February 2022, following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Interestingly, a significant 74% of respondents would back Putin if he signed a peace agreement immediately, a sentiment nearly at its peak since the war's onset. In contrast, only 18% opposed stopping the war. This shift in public opinion followed Putin's announcement of partial military mobilization in September 2022.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu recently indicated Moscow's readiness for a "post-conflict settlement" in Ukraine. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remains firm on not conceding occupied Ukrainian territory for a ceasefire.

The survey's timing is crucial as Putin prepares for a potential fifth term bid in the upcoming presidential election in March, amidst recent changes to Russia's election laws impacting media coverage and campaign platforms.

Support for Putin's Ukraine invasion hit a low in September, as per a Levada Center survey, with only 38% backing Russia's actions. This comes alongside another Levada Center poll showing 70% of Russians would support Putin ending the conflict, but support drops to 34% if it involves returning occupied Ukrainian territories.