Saturday, March 9, 2024

Muscovites Back Putin and His War More Strongly than Do Those in the Rest of Russia, Gudkov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 5 – Something remarkable has happened, Lev Gudkov says. Muscovites hitherto the Russians most likely to protest government actions have become far more supportive of Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine than are those citizens of the Russian Federation who live beyond the ring road.

            The Levada Center sociologist says this is a part of what is a larger and "completely new phenomenon: people with higher educations display a higher level of support for the war and loyalty to Putin than do others and such people are concentrated in the Russian capital (

            This pattern did not exist as recently as three or four years ago, Gudkov continues; and the change in the behavior of Muscovites is especially striking. “Moscow, which has always been the center of anti-Putin protest, today is the most loyal and displays the highest level of support for the war to a victorious conclusion and aggressiveness toward the West.”

            Propaganda, the closing off of alternative information sources, and the fact that a large percentage of Muscovites and the educated more generally work either for the government or for companies dependent on the government, the sociologist says. But the real reasons for this change lie in the difference experiences of the Muscovites and the educated had over the last decade.

      Those living in small towns and rural area, the poor and the less educated in contrast are “relatively more anti-war,” although in those places too “more than half” back Putin and his war in Ukraine. This difference between Muscovites and the educated reflect the disappointment of these groups who earlier backed the West but feel disappointed and even betrayed.

            This sense of disappointment is far greater among those in the capital and the more educated than it is elsewhere because they had a personal investment in the West and have lost; and  to justify their current helplessness and conceal from themselves their own impotence and servility, they are ready to go along with the revival of old grievances against the West.

No comments:

Post a Comment