According to a recent poll conducted by a group opposing President Vladimir Putin, a majority of Russian residents now favor the withdrawal of troops from Ukraine "without achieving the goals" of the conflict.
One of Putin's main aims in the war was to eliminate all military threats from Ukraine, in addition to removing what he sees as "Nazis" from Ukraine's government despite President Volodymyr Zelensky being Jewish, HuffPost reported.
However, the poll suggests a general change in public opinion, with the percentage of Russians opposing withdrawal from Ukraine going down — falling from 47% last February to 33% in October.
On the flipside, 40% of Russians surveyed in October support the withdrawal of troops from Ukraine, marking the highest percentage since the war in Ukraine started in February 2022. Additionally, over 30% express support for peace negotiations with Ukraine.
The survey reveals that the conflict is taking a toll on Russians, affecting both their mental well-being and financial stability. Approximately 52% report experiencing anxiety attacks related to the fighting, while 44% have seen a decline in their financial situation since the war began.
Despite Putin's strong support in the lead-up to the upcoming national election on March 17, there are signs of growing weariness even among more patriotic Russian bloggers. Some express frustration at the perceived lack of national support, citing issues such as financial constraints and a shortage of volunteers. This discontent is reflected in a decline in blog posts discussing military strategy due to the belief that there will be no mobilization.
Interestingly, the poll indicates that only one in 10 Russians are willing to participate in anti-war protests, while eight in 10 oppose any street demonstrations. Meanwhile, the trust in Putin remains high, with a mid-December VTiSOM survey reporting that 79.7% of Russians trust their president, and only 14% disapprove of his activities.
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As a sign of shifting priorities, online searches by Russians reveal a decline in interest in topics related to the conflict. Between Nov. 24 and Dec. 24, 2023, over 14 million users searched for "Ukraine," while approximately 8.5 million searched for "Putin," according to the Wordstat Yandex service.
In contrast, a popular TV series, "The Boy's Word," attracted the attention of around 92 million Russian users during the same period.
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