Saturday, December 23, 2023

Two Russian Scholars Offer Another Reason Not to Believe Moscow Polls Showing Russians Overwhelmingly Back Putin’s War in Ukraine

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 21 – Two Samara sociologists, Vladimir Zvonovsky and Aleksandr Khodykin, draw on “the spiral of silence” model offered by German scholar Elisabeth Noelle-Neuman’s work to provide yet another reason for being skeptical about Moscow’s claims that polls show overwhelming majorities of Russians support Putin’s war in Ukraine.

            Their article, “Conceptions by Russians of the Conflict with Ukraine: Testing the ‘Spiral of Silence’ Hypothesis,” Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya, 11 (2023): 38-50 (in Russian) is available at and in English at It is discussed at and

            The two Samara researches argue that many Russians who oppose the war are not willing to voice their opinion either to others or pollsters because they are convinced that their position is unpopular and because they fear both disapproval and other negative consequences. And many then just go along with the preferred position even though they do not share it.

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