The audience of Internet users, social networks, messengers and VPN services

Four out of five Russians access the Internet daily (in 2001, only 2%). Most of these are young respondents, but the number of older users is growing. Two thirds of the respondents regularly use social networks, and this proportion has tripled since 2011. The most popular social networks are VK and YouTube, and their audience continues to grow (for example, VK’s audience has tripled in 13 years). 80% of the respondents use messengers, and this number has doubled in 8 years. Whatsapp and Telegram are the most popular, and their audience is growing. A quarter of Russians use VNP services at least from time to time, over the past two years their share has hardly changed.

The role of television and the Internet as the main sources of news and the TOP most popular Russian journalists

Television remains the main source of information by audience reach and trust among Russians. At the same time, the combined audience of various news sources on the Internet exceeded the audience of TV news. Younger, educated and affluent respondents are more likely to get their news from the Internet. Older people, as well as less affluent and less educated respondents, are more likely to watch news on television. The audience of telegram channels has stabilized at the level of a quarter of the country’s population after a sharp increase in 2022. The audience of video blogs is slowly increasing, but the majority of respondents do not watch them. The most popular journalists, leading socio-political programs were V. Solovyov, O. Skabeeva, E. Popov, M. Simonyan and D. Kisilev. Independent bloggers and journalists are losing their audience.

Mass assessments of the past presidential elections

The majority of respondents are satisfied with the results of the elections, expect changes for the better in this regard and believe that the elections were held fairly; these figures are higher compared to the results of polls after the previous elections. The opinion about the elections strongly depends on the attitude of respondents to the government: positive assessments prevail among those who support the president, and negative ones among oppositional citizens. 75% of the respondents took part in the voting, of which the majority voted for the incumbent president. Among Vladimir Putin’s supporters, two—thirds decided on the choice long before the voting day, among supporters of other candidates, more than half were determined during the campaign. Most of the respondents voted on Friday, the absolute majority at the polling station. The main motives for voting were a “sense of duty”, a desire to support their candidate and the habit of going to the polls, the main motives for non—participation were employment and disbelief that participation could change something. According to the sociological services, about a third of the respondents followed the ratings of candidates.

Conflict with Ukraine: Assesments for March 2024

In March, attention to events in Ukraine increased. The level of support for the actions of the Russian armed forces remains consistently high. The number of supporters of peace talks has been declining since the end of last year, while the number of supporters of continued hostilities remains virtually unchanged. Supporters of the peace talks explain their position by saying that “there are many victims,” “people are dying,” and “war fatigue has accumulated.” Those who advocate the continuation of hostilities explain their opinion by saying that “it is necessary to go to the end,” “finish what has been started,” “destroy fascism,” “negotiations will lead to nothing.” About half of the respondents do not rule out a second wave of partial mobilization, but their number has decreased over the past year. The majority of respondents support the annexation of Crimea and believe that it has brought Russia more benefits — their number has grown over the past few years.

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 scale of public support for Boris Nadezhdin

At the end of February, almost half of the respondents knew about the refusal of the Central Election Commission to register Boris Nadezhdin to participate in the presidential elections. At the same time, about 9% allowed the opportunity to vote for Nadezhdin, but only 3% decided on the choice and were ready to cast their vote for him. About 7% of respondents approved of Nadezhdin’s activities in February, while the majority did not know anything about him. Support for the politician was higher among younger, better-off and more educated residents of the largest cities. Those who sympathized with Nadezhdin were those who saw in him a “fresh man”, a “new face” or a principled oppositionist. Respondents who did not sympathize with the policy gave the most general arguments, or called him “unreliable”, “frivolous” and oriented towards the West.

Popular views on Alexei Navalny

Alexei Navalny’s death became the second most memorable event in February in terms of the number of mentions – after the capture of Avdeyevka by Russian troops. The majority of respondents have heard about the death of the politician, and almost a quarter of respondents voice their sympathy and feelings about this. Today, one in ten respondents speaks about the approval of Alexei Navalny’s activities — two times less than in 2020-21. Supporters of the politician first of all note that he “told the truth”, opposed himself to the authorities, fought corruption, and was brave. Opponents see him primarily as a conductor of the “interests of the West”, a “talker” who embarrassed young people. Every fifth person treats people who come out to honor the memory of a politician positively, almost as many negatively, but the majority is indifferent.

The election of the President of the Russian Federation. Data from the survey February 21-28

At the end of February, 90% of Russians knew about the upcoming presidential elections, while about a third of the respondents did not follow the course of the election campaign. Three quarters of Russians were going to take part in the presidential elections. Those who were going to vote were guided by a sense of duty and a desire to support their candidate. The majority of respondents were planning to vote for Vladimir Putin. Also, the majority of respondents had a positive attitude to the three-day and remote voting procedures, citing convenience. However, this was largely determined by the respondent’s general attitude towards the government.

Protest potential and attitude to protests

Russians believe that mass demonstrations with certain demands are unlikely to be possible in the near future. The respondents are not ready to go out to protest actions, even if they take place. Less than half of the respondents know about the protests of the wives and mothers of the mobilized men.

Savings behavior of Russians in January 2024

The savings attitudes and behavior of Russians have hardly changed in recent months. The number of respondents who do not see changes in their ability to save is growing. The amount of savings is stabilizing. The attractiveness of bank deposits and real estate as an investment asset is growing.

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