Conflict with Ukraine: Assesments for late August 2023

In August, attention to Ukrainian events slightly decreased: less than half of the respondents closely monitor them. The level of support for the actions of the Russian armed forces remains high. Just like last month, there are slightly more supporters of the start of negotiations than there are supporters of the continuation of hostilities. However, most Russians are not ready to make concessions to Ukraine for the sake of ending the military operation and concluding a peace agreement.

In August, the level of attention to Ukrainian events decreased slightly compared to last month. Thus, 17% of respondents say that they are following the developments “very closely” (in July — 23%) and another 31% are following them “quite closely” (36% – in July). 34% of respondents follow the events without much attention, and 17% (9% in July) do not follow them at all.

Let us also recall that in response to an open question about the important events of recent weeks, only about 9% called “Special Operation”, “SVO”, etc., another 5% noted drone and drone attacks.

Do you follow the situation around Ukraine? (full table)

Very closely29262224252132232722212421202317
Somewhat closely35333431313034353235323133343631
Not too closely27293332323425293032323233343134
I don’t follow it at all81010131114811111115131212917
I haven’t heard anything about it2211111111111111

Just like in other months, respondents from the older age group (55 years and older) most closely follow events related to Ukraine: 63% members of this group follow them closely (25% of them follow them “very closely”). In the age group from 40 to 54 years, 45% of respondents are closely follow the events, as do 38% of people aged 25 to 39 and 28% of people aged 18 to 24.

In August, support for the actions of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine did not change statistically significantly – 38% definitely support them (45% in July), 32% rather support them (30% in July). 21% do not support them (18% in July)

Do you personally support or not the actions of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine? (full table)

Definitely yes48534547474846444442414548414343404538
Definitely no15611998910991197998989
Can’t say96765778878668968710

The highest level of support for the actions of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine is characteristic of the oldest age group (55 years and older), where almost half of the respondents (47%) “definitely support”, and 30% rather support them than not. Respondents from the youngest age group (18-24 years old) are the least supportive – 57%. 65% of respondents aged 25 to 39 declare their support, as do 67% of people aged 40 to 54. Among men, support for the actions of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine is slightly higher than among women – 75% versus 65%. In Moscow, strong support (answers like “definitely support”) is expressed 10%-15% less often than in other localities.

Support for the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine differs mainly among those who approve or disapprove of the president’s activities. Those who approve of his activities have a support level of 79%, and those who disapprove – 29%. Respondents who trust television are also more likely than others to support the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine (81%). Those respondents who trust telegram channels (59%) show the least support. 

Just like in previous months (with the exception of May 2023), there are slightly more supporters of the transition to peace negotiations than supporters of the continuation of hostilities, in August the first – 50% of respondents (51% in July), and the share of the second – 38% of respondents (41% in July).

Do you think we should continue military operations now or start peace negotiations? (full table)

Definitely continue military actions2922242727262630262524
Continue military actions1514171316161318141614
Start negotiations2731312929292928302727
Definitely start negotiations2126222121192317232423
Can’t say876107111177812

The opinion that it is necessary to start peace negotiations prevails at all ages, but most often it is demonstrated by representatives of the youngest age group (18-24 years) – 64%. In the oldest age group (55 years and older), opinions were equally divided between supporters of the continuation of hostilities and supporters of peace negotiations (43% and 44%, respectively).

Half (50%) of the men surveyed believe that it is necessary to continue military operations, and 41% switch to peaceful negotiations. Women, on the other hand, are more inclined to move to peace negotiations – 57%, 29% of the women surveyed are in favor of continuing military operations.

The majority (72%) of those who disapprove of the president’s activities believe that it is necessary to move on to peace negotiations. There is no dominant opinion among respondents who approve of the president’s activities – 43% support the continuation of military operations and 46% support the transition to peace negotiations. 

Among the supporters of the continuation of hostilities, one in three respondents (32%) explain their opinion by saying that “we need to go to the end, we cannot stop halfway,” 16% — by saying that “fascism must be destroyed, not all nationalists have been destroyed yet.” The opinion that “not all goals of the military operation have been achieved yet” and “negotiations will not lead to the desired result / will not give anything” is expressed by 13% of respondents.

Among the supporters of peace talks, half of the respondents (52%) explain their position by the fact that “a lot of guys are already dying,” “a lot of victims on both sides.” Among the reasons for the transition to peace negotiations, 40% of respondents call “war fatigue”. Another 13% say that “you need to be able to negotiate”, “negotiations are needed”. Economic problems are cited by 6%, and the lack of military successes is cited by another 5% as the reason for the transition to peace negotiations. 

The majority of respondents are not ready for compromises, so 20% of respondents believe that for the sake of ending the military operation and signing a peace agreement, certain concessions should be made to Ukraine (and only 5% “definitely” agree to make concessions). These sentiments are quite stable. Young people (29% of people under 24) and those who do not approve of the activities of V. Putin as president (46%) are more likely to favor concessions. Respondents over 55 (18%) and those who disapprove of the president’s activities (15%) are least willing to make concessions.

The preferred terms of the peace agreement are the exchange of prisoners of war (81%) and an immediate ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine (55%). According to respondents, Ukraine’s accession to NATO (75%), the return of the LPR and DPR to Ukraine (75%), as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions to Ukraine (68%) are unacceptable under any circumstances. Since February 2023, these views have hardly changed.


The survey by the Levada Center was conducted August 24 – 30 2023, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1606 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 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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