Conflict with Ukraine: Assesments for late June 2023

The level of attention to the Ukrainian events remains at the level of the last two months. Support for the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation has also remained virtually unchanged and stays at a high level. After a surge in support for the idea of continuing military operations in May, against the background of the capture of Bakhmut (Artemovsk) in June, the number of supporters of peace negotiations has significantly increased. That might have been partially caused by the concerns after the events of June 24. The overwhelming majority of respondents are concerned about both the beginning of the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine. Most still hold the United States and NATO responsible for what is happening. Concern about the possibility of a direct clash between Russia and NATO has grown markedly over the year.

The level of attention to Ukrainian events remains at the level of last month. 20% follow them “very closely” (in May — 21%) and another 34% follow them “quite closely” (33% – in May). 46% of respondents follow without much attention or do not follow at all.

As in other months, respondents from the older age group (55 years and older) most closely follow events related to Ukraine: 67% of this group follow them closely. In the age group from 40 to 54 years, 56% of respondents closely follow the events, as do 41% of people aged 25 to 39 and 34% of people aged 18 to 24.

In June, support for the actions of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine slightly sank. 40% definitely support (in May – 43%), 33% rather support (as in May). 19% do not support it – (18% in May).

The highest level of support for the actions of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine is typical for those who trust TV as the main source of news (86%) and who approve of the president’s activities (82%), as well as for respondents 55 years and older (82%) and men (77%). The lowest level of support is observed among those who disapprove of the president’s work (31% in total). Also, young people (56% among respondents aged 18-24) and women (70%), as well as those who do not trust any news sources (62%), are less likely to show their support.

The dominant feelings among Russians caused by military actions in Ukraine are “pride for Russia” (43%), “anxiety, fear, horror” (32%), “shock” (11%).

By the end of June, the share of respondents supporting the continuation of hostilities had slightly decreased – this month they were 40% (in May – 48%), supporters of the transition to peace negotiations – 53% (in May – 45%). It can be assumed that the mutiny of the PMCs influenced the changes in sentiment on this issue “Wagner”, since there were slightly more supporters of continuing the rebellion (43%) before the start of the rebellion than in the following days (39%). On the contrary, there were slightly fewer supporters of negotiations at the beginning (49%) than on June 25-28 – 55%.

The share of respondents who believe that the “special operation” is progressing successfully has slightly decreased. In May there were 61% of them, in June – 54%. This decrease was due to an increase in the share of those who found it difficult to answer (in May – 12%, in June – 17%).

The respondents are most concerned about the shelling of Russian regions that do not border the “special operation” zone, as well as the shelling of Russian border cities by the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the threat of the use of nuclear weapons in the Ukrainian conflict.

The overwhelming majority (81%, 77% in April) of respondents are concerned about the supply of Western weapons to the Ukrainian army. The group of 55 years and older (89%) is the most concerned, the least – 18-24 years (62%).

60% of respondents believe that the situation in Ukraine could escalate into an armed conflict between Russia and NATO, 48% of respondents thought so a year ago.


The survey by the Levada Center was conducted June 22 – 28 2023, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample consists 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 distribution of responses is given as a percentage of the total number of respondents.

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%


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