Do Russians support the war?
From personal conversations with different people, in different cities, from the behavior of people on the streets and in public places, I can say that the picture roughly corresponds to public opinion polls. Approximately 15% actively support, 15% are strongly against, and the remaining 70% are indifferent. The life position of this majority is «Leave me alone, it’s not my business!» Or, something like: «Let others fight – if they want!»
Okay, of these 70% there are people who are rather for the war and those who are rather against it, but do not express their opinion in any way. For strong reason – it's dangerous.
The country's population is from 120 to 140 million people. It is difficult to calculate accurately; authorities falsify data. The authorities of each region overestimate the real number of population in order to receive money from Federal budget for their region, but we also have 6-8 million unregistered migrants from Central Asia.
For this entire population there are about 5 million security forces – policemen, detectives, judges and prosecutors.
All this policemen and different security forces have good salaries and many bonuses from Putin's state. And according to the new laws, they are motivated to catch any anti-war citizen in order to convict him and put him in prison.
Russians are a very divided people. There is no unity, the usual situation is when a Russian is not a friend to another Russian. Over the past hundred years, social hostility has accumulated between different nationalities, people from different regions, different social status and income.
Security forces treat fellow citizens as cheap resources for achieving personal bonuses. But, in fact, the citizens will treat them the same way if the government suddenly changes.
The values of Russian people are not patriotism, not militarism, not religion, but personal comfort and, accordingly, money.
At the same time, despite oil revenues, real wages of citizens have been declining for 10 years, starting in 2014. In the mid-2010s, Russian banks actively distributed consumer loans at high interest rates. Russians are accustomed to continuous economic growth – it lasted 15 years. Therefore, many people did not calculate their resourses and opportunities, took out loans and after a year or two were faced with the fact that they could not pay off.
Residents of the country cope with this in different ways – some work seven days a week, harming their health. Another becomes a minor government official or a propaganda worker – these positions pay well for loyalty to the authorities. And… someone signs a contract with the Ministry of Defense and goes on a «special military operation» in Ukraine – simply to pay off debts to banks affiliated with the state. Of course, this is a bad decision – but for some men this is the only way out.
At the same time, with the start of mobilization in the fall of 2022, many offers for such a service appeared on Internet sites: «I will break your arm – not very expensive and almost painlessly.» In those months, the number of disabled men who committed self-harm of one kind or another sharply increased in order to avoid mobilization and not participate in conflict in Ukraine.
Well... this style of thinking and lifestyle is more typical for slaves... but not for militarists.