Conflict with Ukraine: Assesments for February 2024

The level of support for the actions of the Russian armed forces remains consistently high. There are still slightly more than half of the respondents who support peace talks, but their number has decreased slightly over the past three months. Russians consider the main objectives of the “special operation” to be the protection of residents of Donbass and ensuring the security of the country. Over the past six months, the number of people who are confident that the “special operation” is going well has been growing; today 70% of respondents believe so. Against this background, the majority does not expect a new wave of mobilisation; the prevailing view is that there is no need for it. The level of concerns about mobilisation has almost halved compared to September last year — only a third of respondents is concerned.

The level of interest to the events in Ukraine has not changed significantly in the last six months: 20% of respondents are following them “very closely”, another 31% are following them “quite closely”. At the same time, a third of respondents “follow them without much attention”, another 12% “do not follow them at all”. People aged 65 and older are following the events in Ukraine most closely – 75%, TV viewers ranked second – 59%.

The level of support for the Russian armed forces has not changed significantly since the beginning of the conflict – the majority of respondents (76%) support the actions of Russian troops in Ukraine, including 46% “definitely support” and another 30% “rather support” the action of Russian army. 16% are against.

Representatives of older age groups (82% of respondents aged 55 and older), those who trust information from television (86%), and those who approve of the work of V. Putin as president of Russia (84%) are more likely to support the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine.  

The level of support for the actions of Russian troops is lower among younger age groups (66% under the age of 24), viewers of YouTube channels (66%). The lowest level of support is among those respondents who disapprove of V. Putin’s activities as President of Russia – 21%.

Now (in February 2024), about half of the respondents (52%) are in favor of a transition to peace negotiations. At the same time, in the second half of last year, this indicator grew gradually — from 45% in May to 57% in November. After that, support for the idea of peace talks declined slightly and reached current levels. 39% of respondents support the continuation of military operations today.

The support of peace negotiations is widely spread among women (58%), young people under 25 (74%), residents of cities with a population of up to 100,000 people (58% each), and those who trust information from social networks (60%) and YouTube channels (70%).

On the contrary, supporters of the continuation of hostilities predominate among men (47%), respondents aged 55 years and older (50%), and those who trust information from television (47%), as well as Muscovites – 55%.

Russians believe that Russia started its military operation to protect the residents of the DPR and LPR, as well as the Russian-speaking population of the region (25%), 23% of respondents are sure that the military operation was launched to protect Russia’s interests and ensure the country’s security (23%). In third place in the top reasons is the fight against Nazism, as 14% of respondents answered. Respondents also spoke about the need to return territories, geopolitical and economic reasons (10%) and the need to protect against the presence of NATO near the borders of Russia (10%).

Over the past 8 months, the share of Russians who believe that the special operation is successful has been growing (+15% since June). Thus, in February, 70% of respondents spoke about this (18% believe that the special military operation is progressing “very successfully”).

TV viewers (82%) and those who approve of Putin’s activities as president (76%) are more likely to express their opinion about the success of his work. The opinion that the special military operation is unsuccessful is more often voiced by those who trust information from Telegram, YouTube channels (23% and 27%, respectively), and those who disapprove of the president’s activities (50%).

The majority of Russians (65%) believe that mobilisation will not be carried out in the near future. Almost one in five respondents (18%) holds the opposite opinion. Another 17% found it difficult to answer.

The expectation of the second wave of mobilisation is more often spoken by the audience of telegram and YouTube channels (21% and 30%, respectively), and those who believe that the country is moving along the wrong path (38%).

The majority of Russians (69%) today do not see the need for a second wave of mobilisation. 13% of respondents say that there is such a need.

Respondents living outside major cities are more likely to talk about the need to launch a second wave of mobilisation in the coming months. The opposite is more often said by young people (79% under the age of 24) and Muscovites – 79%.

Russians’ fears about the announcement of general mobilisation have almost halved compared to September last year – now 34% of respondents are afraid of the announcement of general mobilisation (a decline of 25%). The majority (59%) of the respondents are not afraid of general mobilisation. Today’s attitude to this issue has returned to the level of the end of February 2022.

Such concerns are more often demonstrated by women (43%), respondents under the age of 34 (44%), those who barely have enough to eat (40%), and those who disapprove of the activities of V. Putin as president (54%).

Men (71%), respondents aged 65 and over (67%), those who can afford durable goods (64%), and those who approve of the president’s activities (63%) are less afraid of the announcement of general mobilisation. 

The attitude towards people who openly oppose the special military operation has changed slightly since August 2022.  The share of those who believe that the government should stop anti-war protests was 38% (and practically unchanged). However, the share of those who believe that the government should not restrict freedom of speech during this time decreased from 57% in August 2022 to 48% in February 2024. Learn more about the attitude towards protests.


The survey by the Levada Center was conducted February 21 – 28 2024, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1601 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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