The British Defense Ministry’s intelligence update published on 4 December says that an independent public opinion survey suggested that more than half of Russians are now in favor of peace negotiations with Ukraine.

The ministry tweeted:

  • “Recent polling suggests that Russian public support for the ‘special military operation’ is falling significantly.”
  • “An independent Russian media outlet has claimed access to data collected by Russia’s Federal Protective Service for internal use. The data indicated 55 percent of Russians favour peace talks with Ukraine, with only 25 percent claiming to support continuing the conflict. These results are consistent with a separate October 2022 survey where 57 percent of respondents reported being in favour of talks. In April 2022, around 80 percent of Russians claimed to support the operation.”
  • “Despite the Russian authorities’ efforts to enforce pervasive control of the information environment, the conflict has become increasingly tangible for many Russians since the September 2022 ‘partial mobilisation’. With Russia unlikely to achieve major battlefield successes in the next several months, maintaining even tacit approval of the war amongst the population is likely to be increasingly difficult for the Kremlin.”

The US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), however, says that independent Russian polling data indicates that Russian citizens still support Russia’s military operations in Ukraine despite growing war weariness over the past six months referring to the independent Russian polling organization Levada Center which found that 74% of Russians support Russian forces’ actions in the war in Ukraine in a November poll published on December 2. The poll also found that only 41% of respondents favored Russia continuing military operations in Ukraine, however, whereas 53% said that Russia should begin peace negotiations.

ISW notes that Levada Center findings are similar to a reported internal Kremlin-commissioned poll from November that found that 55 percent of Russians favor peace talks with Ukraine and only 25 percent favor continuing the war.