Nagorno-Karabakh and the attitude towards countries against the background of the conflict: September 2023

There is a high awareness of Russians about the military conflict in Nagorno–Karabakh – 81% have at least heard something about it, every fifth respondent followed the events closely. Respondents blame the USA and NATO countries (41%) for the resumption of the conflict, to a lesser extent Azerbaijan (15%) and Armenia (11%). Over the 7 years of the conflict, sympathy for the Azerbaijani side has doubled – 10%, while sympathy for the Armenian side, on the contrary, has decreased by about half (8%). At the same time, three-quarters of respondents do not support any of the parties to the conflict at all. More than half of Russians support the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh, their number has not changed significantly since the last measurement in 2020. More than half of Russians have a positive attitude towards Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh

The overwhelming majority of Russians know about the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh (81%), 21% of respondents closely followed the developments. Compared to the events of 2020, the level of awareness has somewhat decreased, three years ago 90% of respondents had at least heard something about military clashes, and 30% were closely watching.

Older age groups are more aware of the new round of the military conflict than others: 90% of respondents aged 55 and older, as well as residents of Moscow (94%), the level of information consumption in which is higher than in other localities. The youngest age group (under 24 years old) – 62% and residents of villages – 77% are the least aware of the military clash in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Just as in 2016 and 2020, respondents call the United States and NATO countries the main initiator of the conflict in Nagorno–Karabakh – 41%. 15% believe that Azerbaijan was the initiator of this clash, about one in ten respondents considered Armenia to be the initiator. Turkey is considered the instigator of the conflict today much less often than in previous measurements: only 2%. Only 1% of respondents see Russia’s responsibility in the incident.

Those who receive information through television more often than others call the USA and NATO countries the initiator of this conflict – 46%, this answer is also popular among readers of news telegram channels, but Azerbaijan is more often blamed for the resumption of the conflict – 26%.

The majority of respondents distance themselves from the conflict – 74% do not support either side. At the same time, in recent years, the balance of sympathies has shifted from Armenia to Azerbaijan. In 2016 and 2020 15% of respondents sympathized with Armenia, today it is only 8%. On the contrary, sympathy for Azerbaijan has grown from 4% in 2016 to 6% in 2020 and to 10% today. The majority of those who closely followed the developments also do not express sympathy for either side of the conflict (63%) and sympathize more with Azerbaijan (21%) than Armenia (12%).

The majority of Russians (58%) have a positive attitude to the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh, their number has not changed statistically significantly over the past three years. A positive attitude towards the deployment of Russian peacekeepers can be traced primarily among those who closely followed the development of the conflict – 72%. Those who have heard something about it, but not in detail, are slightly less positive about it – 61% of respondents.

Attitude towards countries against the background of conflict

Respondents were asked to assess their attitude towards countries and associations from the following list: USA, EU, Ukraine, China, Turkey and India. The respondents relate best to Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Armenia. A negative attitude still prevails in relation to Western countries and Ukraine.

Attitude towards Armenia

The attitude towards Armenia has worsened over the past seven years, if in 2016 79% of respondents spoke about their good attitude, in 2020 62% of respondents, then in September this year 53%. At the moment, 29% have a negative attitude towards Armenia. Respondents under the age of 24 have the best attitude towards Armenia – 69%. The worst attitude – respondents 55 years and older (45%).

Attitude towards Azerbaijan

The attitude towards Azerbaijan has not changed significantly over the past three years, 57% of Russians have a positive attitude towards this country, 23% have a negative attitude. Also, the youngest age group treats Azerbaijan better than other age groups – 68% positively, 15% negatively.

Attitude towards Turkey

In 2022, against the background of the conflict with the West and the absence of open confrontation with the Turkish authorities (unlike other countries), the attitude of Russians towards Turkey has sharply improved (by 20 percentage points). However, after the growth of positive ratings, the attitude gradually began to deteriorate, now 54% of respondents speak positively. Young people are the best at Turkey – 70% (under the age of 24), the older age groups are the worst: 49% aged 55 and older.

About the attitude to the USA and the EU, see more


The all-Russian survey by the Levada Center was conducted September 21 – 27 2023, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1633 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%


Подпишитесь, чтобы быть в курсе последних исследований!

Выберите список(-ки):