The most mentioned event in August was the death of the founder of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin. Almost all respondents are aware of the accident itself, while 39% have heard a lot about it. Opinions on the causes of the incident were divided. Assessing the activities of Yevgeny Prigozhin, public opinion was divided into two equal parts.
The most mentioned event in August was the death of the founder of the Wagner PMCs, Yevgeny Prigozhin (32% of mentions), in second place is the ongoing special military operation (9% of mentions in August, 15% in July). Other than that, respondents named the BRICS summit (6%), Ukraine’s attacks on Russian territory (5%), weather disasters (4%), the growth of the dollar, interest rates and prices (3%).
89% of respondents know about Yevgeny Prigozhin’s death in an airplane crash (39% have heard a lot about it, 50% have heard something, but without details).
Russians’ opinions about the disaster were divided. A quarter of respondents (26%) are inclined to the version of a tragic accident, and a fifth (20%) – to the version of revenge on Prigozhin by the authorities for the coup attempt. About 16% of respondents generally believe that Prigozhin himself staged the disaster and is actually alive. About the same number (14%) believe that foreign intelligence services are behind the terrorist attack.
The version of a tragic accident is more often held by those who have heard about this event without details (29%), older people – 55 years and older (31%), those who trust television as a source of information (35%) and those who approve of the president’s activities (29%).
The involvement of the authorities is primarily believed by those who have heard a lot about the event (28%), who trust Internet publications (30%), telegram channels (28%) and Internet social networks (25%) as sources of information, those who disapprove of the president’s activities (46%). Young people (18-24 years old) believe a little less in the version of the terrorist attack by Western intelligence services (9%) than respondents of other ages (14-16% in other age groups). Among middle-aged people (25-39 years old), one in five (21%) believes that Prigozhin himself staged the disaster, but in fact is alive.
In August (compared to the June measurement), the share of those who approved of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s activities increased (from 34% to 39%). The share of those who disapprove of his activities has hardly changed (39% and 37%, respectively). Thus, assessing the figure of Yevgeny Prigozhin, Russian society was equally divided.
These two measurements do not show a deterioration in the attitude towards Prigozhin, which was observed immediately after the attempted mutiny. However, a more detailed review of the results of the June survey , as well as a comparison of the June data with the results of the telephone survey of late June-early July, gives us some idea of this.
Respondents aged 18-24 (46%) and 25-39 (44%) spoke about the approval of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s activities somewhat more often, among respondents aged 55 and older, the share of those who disapprove of his activities is higher (41%). The attitude to Prigozhin’s activities also significantly differs depending on which sources of information the respondents trust. Among those who trust Telegram channels the most, the share of those who approve of Prigozhin’s activities is higher (55%), and respondents who receive information from television spoke somewhat more often about their disapproval of his activities (43%). In addition, the share of those who disapprove of Prigozhin’s activities is slightly higher among those who disapprove of the president’s activities (43%).