Western sanctions: Moscow poll

Less than half of Muscovites are worried about Western sanctions. Less than a third faced difficulties in purchasing familiar goods. Muscovites first of all regret the departure of IKEA, McDonald’s, clothing brands and smartphone manufacturers. But in general, the departure of foreign companies does not worry the respondents too much. The prevailing opinion is that sanctions will benefit the country and become an incentive for development. Although respondents expect rapid import substitution in the field of food production, but not in other industries.

In Moscow, 42% of respondents are concerned about sanctions imposed by Western countries: 19% are very worried, 23% are quite worried. The average figure for Russia is slightly lower – 38%.

Slightly more than a quarter (27%) of Muscovites are concerned about the withdrawal of some Western companies and brands from the Russian market (9% are very worried, 18% are quite worried), 72% are not worried (24% are not too worried, 48% are not worried at all). There are no differences with the results of the May all-Russian survey, where a similar question was asked.

70% of respondents believe that sanctions will not have a negative impact on Russia’s development: about half (47%) of respondents believe that sanctions will strengthen the country and become an incentive for development, 23% – that sanctions will not affect development in any way. Just over a quarter (26%) believe that sanctions will cause significant damage to Russia.

Muscovites are most concerned about the departure of such brands as Ikea (26% of those who are concerned about the departure of Western brands from the Russian market), McDonald’s (14%) and Zara (10%). When considering product categories, Muscovites are most concerned about the departure of companies producing cars and related materials (12%), clothing brands (11%), as well as brands of electronics and household appliances (8%).

Due to the departure of foreign companies, a quarter of the surveyed Muscovites faced difficulties in acquiring familiar brands, 14% – familiar food products, about a third (30%) – familiar medicines and personal hygiene items, about a quarter (23%) – electronics and household appliances.

Among those who faced difficulties buying goods after the departure of a number of foreign companies, 65% managed to find a substitute for their usual clothes (18% found a complete replacement, 47% – partial), 77% found a replacement for food (29% – complete, 48% – partial), 69% – medicines and items personal hygiene (23% – complete, 46% – partial). The least of those who managed to find an alternative to the products of foreign companies is represented in the category of electronics and household appliances: about half of Moscow respondents managed to find a replacement in it, 46% did not find such a replacement.

81% of respondents believe that in the coming years it will be possible to achieve significant success in replacing imported goods with domestic ones in the field of public catering. Regarding the areas of production of machinery and electronics, as well as the production of cars, the attitude is more skeptical: 41% and 33%, respectively, believe that successful “import substitution” will be achieved in these areas.


The survey by the Levada Center was conducted May 26 – 31 2022, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1634 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 Moscow survey was conducted on June 11-20, 2021 on a representative sample of the Moscow population among 508 people aged 18 years and older. The study was conducted on the street by a personal interview in CAPI format (on tablets). The distribution of responses is given as a percentage of the total number of respondents. The statistical error does not exceed 6.6%.

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