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Poll: Most Russians would not support ending invasion if it meant returning occupied territories to Ukraine

by Elsa Court October 31, 2023 11:55 PM 2 min read
People walk on the street after snowfall at Red Square in Moscow, Russia on October 27, 2023. (Sefa Karacan/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Most Russians would not support ending the invasion of Ukraine if it meant the withdrawal from Ukrainian territories currently occupied by Russia, a recent poll conducted by the Moscow-based Levada Center has shown.

According to the survey, only 34% of Russians would support President Vladimir Putin if he decided to end the invasion and return occupied territories to Ukraine.

However, 70% of respondents said they would support Putin’s decision to end the invasion of Ukraine, without the caveat about returning territories.

The questions were asked by dividing the respondents into two equal groups, with each group being asked the question in one of two formulations, the Levada Center said.

The Levada Center also found that "the level of support for the actions of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine remains high."

When asked if they personally support the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine, 76% of respondents replied "definitely" or "most likely" yes, a figure that has remained relatively stable over the past year of polling.

The Levada Center also asked their opinion on whether to continue the war or start peace negotiations. 56% of those surveyed supported the start of peace talks, compared to 51% of those surveyed in September.

However, the number rose to 69% among the youngest age group that was surveyed, aged 18 to 24 years old.

The Levada Center pointed out that those living in Moscow were less enthusiastic about starting peace talks, with only 38% of Muscovites saying it is time "to move on to peace negotiations."

The poll also showed that Russians believe the invasion will last into the future, with 46% of respondents believing the war will last for more than another year. Another 23% said they believed it will last another six months to a year.  

The Levada Center conducted the survey between Oct. 19 and Oct. 25, 2023, using a sample of 1,607 adults living across Russia.

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