50% of citizens believe that there is no threat of a military attack on Russia. This follows from the results of the VTsIOM study, which Vedomosti got acquainted with. 41% of survey participants believe that there is an external threat, 9% found it difficult to answer. “The unstable international situation has had little effect on Russians’ perception of the threat of a military attack,” the study concludes.
62% of those respondents who consider the attack on Russia real believe in the threat from the United States. Ukraine is in second place (32%), Poland is in third (26%), Great Britain is in fourth (18%), and NATO and Germany are in fifth (8% each). Ukraine came out on top among the states that VTsIOM respondents call a source of military threat in December 2018. Then it was chosen by 57% of respondents against 54% who feared the United States.
VTsIOM Director General Valery Fedorov says that citizens are aware of the factor that Russia is a nuclear power. Therefore, the majority does not yet share the fear that Poland and other NATO countries will start a full-scale war with Russia. “Military operations are already underway, <...> The West supplies weapons, equipment, money, trains soldiers, organizes an economic blockade of Russia, but tries not to join the battle itself,” Fedorov said.
Sociologist Denis Volkov, in turn, believes that on the issue of a sense of threat, “society is divided almost in half.” At the same time, he does not see anything surprising in the fact that a blow is expected from the United States, because all the conflicts of recent years have been perceived by the majority precisely as a conflict between Russia and the United States.
Since the beginning of the special operation in Ukraine, state policy has been aimed at explaining: the threat is eliminated preemptively, notes Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs magazine. “This was the main message that the state sent to society,” Lukyanov added.
The current survey was conducted by VTsIOM on August 13, and 1,600 Russians aged 18 and over took part in it.