Staunton, Nov. 22 – Focus groups in various regions of the Russian Federation conducted at the order of the Presidential Administration earlier this month found that residents there are not optimistic about their own futures or that of the country but haven’t gone into opposition, according to people close to the PA with whom the Meduza news agency has spoken.
One source said that the focus groups showed that the people are indifferent and apathetic rather than angry. They aren’t inspired by anything and their message to Moscow is this: “just get away from us and don’t mess with our lives” (meduza.io/feature/2022/11/22/ravnodushie-i-apatiya-otstante-ot-nas-ne-lezte-k-nam).
The source also said that the Kremlin doesn’t see this attitude being the result of the recent Russian withdrawal from Kherson but rather “tiredness with the war in general” and a sense among many Russians that there must be better explanations for why the war is going so poorly.
During these closed focus group sessions, Russians were asked about the biggest problems connected with the war. According to those who spoke with Meduza, the problems named were “mobilization, economic difficulties connected with sanctions and what was somewhat unexpected the blocking of Instagram.”
Despite that, that the sources say, the Kremlin doesn’t expect massive anti-war protests anytime soon. “People have gotten used to everything,” one said. But they don’t exclude that the situation could change, especially if the authorities felt compelled to launch a larger mobilization effort.
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