For Putin, invading Ukraine comes with political risk at home, these surveys show
The White House just warned that there is a “distinct possibility” that Russia will invade Ukraine in a “very swift time frame.” More than 100,000 Russian troops are now massed near Ukraine on three sides.
But what does the Russian public think about armed intervention in Ukraine? This question is important. Even though Russia is an autocracy, its leaders pay attention to public sentiment. Our new polling data suggests that invading Ukraine could be a difficult sell within Russia.
Our team has followed Russian public opinion since August as part of the Russian Election Studies, surveys that have asked Russians about the West, NATO and other foreign policy topics since the mid-1990s. Here are four things you need to know about how ordinary Russians view Putin and the events unfolding in Ukraine.