RUSSIAN SUPPORT FOR WAR DECLINING?
Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 9
The respected polling organization, the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VCIOM), has reported the results of polling conducted throughout Russia from January 18-22 concerning Russian popular attitudes toward the war in Chechnya. The latest polling data shows that popular support for the war is declining but probably not to a point where the regime would feel it necessary to take steps to end the conflict. Two sample questions from the January survey:
Question. Do you consider that it is necessary to continue the military operation in Chechnya or to begin peaceful negotiations with the Chechen leadership?
Answers (November 2000 versus January 2001).Continue military operations: 45 percent, 37 percentEnter into negotiations: 48 percent, 50 percentDon’t know: 8 percent, 13 percent
Question. What policy should the government of Russia pursue in Chechnya right now?
Answers (January 2001).Act more severely to get the bandits and destroy their bases: 40 percentPay more attention to restoring the economy, providing work and a peaceful life: 19 percentReach agreement with authoritative Chechen leaders, even if they fought Russia: 16 percentDon’t know: 14 percentContinue with the same policy: 10 percentOther: 1 percent
(The VCIOM survey results are available from the Centre for the Study of Public Policy, University of Strathclyde, UK, at: www.russiavotes.org/rvwhatsnew.htm).