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.


Most Russians have somehow heard about street protests against the “special operation” in Ukraine. The youngest respondents and readers of Telegram channels and online publications are most aware of this. There is no clear understanding of the motives of the protesters in society.

Protest sentiment

In mid-February, 29% of Russians considered protests with economic demands possible, 23% were ready to take part in them. Mass demonstrations with political demands were considered possible by 29% of respondents, while 18% were ready to participate in them. The most protesting groups were low-income respondents, those who believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction, and those who disapprove of the president’s activities. The survey was conducted on February 17-21.

Protests in Kazakhstan

87% of Russians know of the popular protests in Kazakhstan that took place in early January. 48% believe the reason for the protests is people’s dissatisfaction with the growing prices and deteriorating life quality, 35% – that foreign forces provoked the conflict. 67% of Russians approve of Russian troops taking part in the CSTO operation.

Protest sentiment

Compared to the beginning of the year, the number of Russians who are expecting mass protests has decreased. Even though the willingness to participate in them has increased. The rate of readiness differs by consumer status, views on the state of affairs in the country and the level of approval of the president’s work.

Protest sentiments

The protest sentiments of Russians have significantly decreased since January 2021. Young people and the audience of new media are more ready to protest. Representatives of the older generation and TV viewers-to a lesser extent.

21 April protests

Most Russians (72%) are aware of the protests on April 21. This is less than during the January protests. The share of those who have a positive attitude toward the protesters decreased. Young people and readers of new media have a better attitude toward the protesters. Older age groups and television viewers have worse attitudes.

Top February events

A fifth of Russians named the trial of Navalny among the main events in February, another 18% – protests. 13% remembered the events associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

January protests

80% of Russians know about recent protests associated with the arrest of Alexey Navalny. These are the most significant figures for protests in recent years. The attitude towards the protesters this time is worse than towards the participants in other protests. The number of people waiting for new protests has reached its highest values since 1998. At the same time, the desire of respondents to take part in protests is decreasing.

Memorable events

This survey was conducted September 25–30, 2020, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1605 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 answer distribution is presented […]

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