Russian Public Opinion and the Confrontation with the West

NUPI Working Paper


Kristin Fjæstad

Seniorforsker, leder for Forskningsgruppen for Russland, Asia og internasjonal handel



What do most Russians think about President Putin, the policies of the Kremlin and the West? Is Russia on the right track? How do Russians view the future? President Vladimir Putin has, since he was elected in 2000, scored high in public opinion polls. After the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 the polls reached new heights with support from nearly 90 % of the population. However, after the announcement of a comprehensive pension reform in summer 2018, the support decreased. In this working paper, Lev Gudkov provides an overview of how the Russians see the West, Ukraine and the politics of the Kremlin, and how the public opinion on these issues have changed over time. The working paper is based on the regular public opinion polls carried out by the Levada Centre since 2003.