The conflict with Ukraine and responsibility for the deaths of civilians

Attention to the “special military operation” is gradually beginning to dull. At the same time, the majority of respondents demonstrate concern about what is happening. Support for the actions of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine remains high, but compared to March it has slightly decreased. The majority of respondents hold NATO countries responsible for the destruction in Ukraine and the death of civilians.

59% of respondents are closely following the situation around Ukraine (including 26% are following “very carefully” and 33% are “quite carefully”). Over the past month, attention to what is happening has gradually begun to decline.

82% of respondents are more or less concerned about Ukrainian events (46% say that they are “very worried” about Ukrainian events, 36% – “rather worried”). According to this survey, there is also a noticeable differentiation by age groups. In the 18-24 group, 67% are concerned about Ukrainian events, about a third are practically not concerned (rather, they do not bother – 18%, they do not bother at all – 14%). Respondents aged 55 and older are the most concerned: 90% of them are concerned, while those who are very concerned about these events are 60%.

Among the things that worry about the current events in Ukraine, respondents most often cited: “loss of life, destruction, suffering, captivity” (47%), concern about the very fact of a military operation (26%), as well as a sense of uncertainty about the future (13%).

The actions of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine in April were supported by 74% of respondents (including 45% “definitely supported”, and another 29% “rather supported”; a total of 19% did not support.) Compared to March, support has decreased slightly.

The majority of respondents (68%) believe that the “special military operation” is progressing successfully, about 17% of respondents hold a different opinion.

The least confidence in the success of the “special operation” is noted in the group of 18-24 years. The respondents of the older generation demonstrate the most positive view of the course of the “special operation”.

The majority of respondents (73%) also believe that the “special military operation” will end with Russia’s victory, another 15% believe that neither side will be able to prevail. Almost no one believes in the victory of Ukraine.

More than half of Russians (57%) blame the United States and NATO countries for the deaths and destruction in Ukraine, another 17% – on Ukraine and only 7% on Russia. Recall that back in mid-February, 60% of Russians already considered the United States and NATO responsible for the escalation of the conflict around Ukraine. At the same time, in the group of oppositional citizens (who do not approve of the president’s actions), both the United States and Russia are equally responsible (30% each in the group).


The survey by the Levada Center was conducted April 21 – 27 2022, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1616 people aged 18 or older in 137 municipalities of 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the total number of participants along with data from previous surveys.

The statistical error of these studies for a sample of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed:

3.4% for indicators around 50%

2.9% for indicators around 25%/75%

2.0% for indicators around 10%/90%

1.5% for indicators around 5%/95%

The ANO Levada Center is included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents.


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