I read the below Censor.net.ua article and was rocked, shaken to my core.
1/3 of Russians believe Russia can fight with a neighboring country, I interpret that to mean Ukraine. 1/5 believe Russia is ready to fight the US or NATO.
I am fairly hawkish, which actually isn’t that much, but this is practically the polar opposite to my thinking. I re-read the report and paid attention to the actual words “can” and “ready”. Then I realized the words were taken out of context and the implication is “want”. Censor.net.ua is implying that the Russian people “want” to go to war, and this is just not the case.
I believe the United States is ready for a war with anyone. Ready and willing, however, are two opposing options. I do not know anyone, not one single person, who wants a war with Russia. No matter how bad Russia is, how much of a rogue state, how aggressive, how provocative… nobody wants a war. With anybody.
I went looking for the Levada poll. It is only available in the Russian language portion of their website.
Here is Levada’s actual synopsis, I pasted the entire report, translated into English, at the very bottom.
Practically two-thirds of the inhabitants of Russia (64%) look in the coming year with “hope”. However, 62% of respondents do not exclude the possibility of corruption scandals and resignations; 57% – of the economic crisis; 44% – mass unrest. Least of all, the population expects in 2019, the coup d’etat (15%), the war with the United States (19%), and ethnic clashes (23%).
That is fairly neutral, not at all warlike.
If you read the entire poll you will see the Censor.net.ua article (second article, below) are highlighting the very end of the poll. The whole poll is about expectations, corruption, the economy, catastrophes, etc, and their expectations for 2019. It is overly-sensational by censor.net.ua to say Russia is ready to or can fight a war and not include at least a qualifying statement. Censor.net.ua should have added, ‘this does not mean Russians want a war with Ukraine’.
In my humble opinion, the Levada survey has been taken out of context by the Censor.net.ua article and misinterpreted. I do not believe Russians are as inclined towards war as the raw figures, taken out of context, suggest.
I believe this is a good example of passive information warfare. Present facts which can easily be misinterpreted. Censor.net.ua did a good job presenting the facts, but taken out of context, they imply Russians want war, and that just isn’t true.
Ready and willing are two opposing options.
Every third resident of the Russian Federation believes that in 2019 Russia can fight with a neighboring country, every fifth is ready for war with the United States or NATO countries – a poll
57% of Russians surveyed are ready for economic crisis, 44% – to mass protests, 13% – to the state revolution.
More than a third of Russians consider it possible next year’s armed conflict with some of the neighboring countries.
In particular, responding to the question of whether next year’s armed conflict with neighboring countries is possible, 34% answered affirmatively (4% – definitely, 30% – more so); The opposite opinion is followed by 54% (38% – rather, 16% – definitely not). The answer was 13% of respondents.
19% of respondents agree that the war with the US or NATO will take place next year; 68% – hold the opposite opinion; 13% – not determined with the answer.
At the same time, 57% of respondents consider the possible economic crisis in Russia in 2019 (14% – certainly, 43% – more so); 32% agree with the opposite opinion (26% – rather, 6% – definitely not).Weighed in with a response of 10%.
44% of respondents consider it possible to rage in massive riots and protests in the Russian Federation (8% – certainly, yes, 36% – more so); the opposite opinion is followed by 48% (32% – rather, 16% – definitely not). Replied with 8% of respondents.
At the same time, 13% of respondents assume the possibility of carrying out a state coup in Russia next year; 75% – reject such an opportunity.11% – hesitated with the answer.
The Levada Center conducted a poll on December 13-19, 2018, in a representative all-Russian sample of urban and rural population in the amount of 1.6 thousand people aged 18 and older in 136 settlements, 52 subjects of the Russian Federation.Джерело: https://censor.net.ua/ua/n3103964
The survey was conducted on December 13–19, 2018 for a representative all-Russian sample of urban and rural population of 1600 people aged 18 years and older in 136 localities, 52 regions of the Russian Federation. The study is conducted at the respondent’s home using a personal interview method. Distribution of answers is given as a percentage of the total number of respondents, together with data from previous surveys.
The statistical error in the sample of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed:
3.4% for indicators close to 50%
2.9% for indicators close to 25% / 75%
2.0% for indicators close to 10% / 90%
1.5% for indicators close to 5% / 95%
WHAT FOR YOU WILL BE A COMING YEAR IN COMPARISON WITH THE PASSENGER? (indicated year of assessment)
|Certainly better||I really hope that it will be better||I think it will be no worse||Hardly anything will change||Perhaps the new year will be worse than the outgoing||Difficult to answer|
DO YOU LOOK INTO AN UPDATING 2019 YEAR WITH HOPE, WITH CONFIDENCE OR WITH ALARM?
|Difficult to answer||four||five||five||four||four||3||four||2|
HOW DO YOU THINK, IS A COMING 2019 YEAR WILL BE QUIET OR STRESSED FOR YOUR FAMILY FOR YOU PERSONALLY? (indicated year of assessment)
|I do not know||14||22||18||14||nineteen||18||12||eleven||9||7|
HOW DO YOU THINK, IS A COMING 2019 YEAR WILL BE QUIET OR POWERFUL FOR RUSSIAN ECONOMY? (indicated year of assessment)
|I do not know||17||26||25||18||22||22||9||eight||ten||ten|
HOW DO YOU THINK, IS A COMING 2019 YEAR WILL BE QUIET OR STRESSED FOR POLITICAL LIFE IN RUSSIA? (indicated year of assessment)
|I do not know||22||28||25||17||24||25||12||13||12||12|
IS IT POSSIBLE IN THE FUTURE YEAR IN RUSSIA … (the year of assessment is indicated)
|I do not know||12||22||nineteen||nineteen||sixteen||17||13||20||sixteen||ten|
… MAJOR TECHNICAL CATASTROPHES?
|I do not know||24||20||18||sixteen||nineteen||21||20||21||20||17|
… MASS EPIDEMIC?
|I do not know||23||20||nineteen||20||nineteen||15||nineteen||17||sixteen||15|
… LOUD CORRUPTION SCANDALS AND MINISTER RETURNS?
|I do not know||nineteen||nineteen||14||eleven||sixteen||sixteen||sixteen||14||eleven||14|
… STATE COURSE? *
|I do not know||12||9||nineteen||18||15||15||12||12||15||12||12||eleven|
… MASS RELATIONS AND POPULATION PROTESTS?
|I do not know||nineteen||18||13||12||15||14||15||13||12||eight|
… MASS COLLISIONS ON NATIONAL SOIL?
|I do not know||15||13||15||14||13||eleven|
… ARMED CONFLICT WITH SOME OF NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES?
|I do not know||14||22||21||nineteen||18||20||15||21||17||15||13|
… A WAR WITH US / NATO?
|I do not know||sixteen||21||14||sixteen||13|
… The aggravation of the situation in the North Caucasus? **
|I do not know||17||24||26||25||22||23||20||24||20||17||18|
* In 1998, the question was asked in the following wording: “HOW DO YOU THINK, WHAT IS THE PROBABLE THAT IN THE NEXT YEAR-TWO A GOVERNMENTAL TURN WILL HAPPEN IN RUSSIA?”
** In 2005, the question was asked in the following wording: “IS A NEW ARMED CONFLICT IN THE CAUCASUS POSSIBLE IN THE FUTURE YEAR IN RUSSIA?”
ANO “Levada Center” is entered in the register of non-profit organizations that perform the functions of a foreign agent. The statement of the director of the Levada Center, who does not agree with this decision, see here .