Only 11% of Russians back call to use nuclear weapons – survey

Less than one in five Russians support an idea of Moscow launching a nuclear strike at Ukraine, a new survey has shown

Only 11% of Russians back call to use nuclear weapons – survey

Only 11% of Russians back call to use nuclear weapons – survey

Most say such a strike is not an option regardless of the situation on the Ukraine frontlines, a fresh poll has shown

The absolute majority of people in Russia oppose the idea of Moscow using nuclear weapons against Ukraine in the ongoing conflict, according to a fresh poll conducted by the media outlet RTVI and the Russian Field polling agency. Almost three quarters of respondents (74%) said that a nuclear option is “unacceptable” regardless of the situation on the battlefield, RTVI reported on Wednesday.

Only 10% of Russians said the use of nuclear weapons was “acceptable” at any moment, while another 5% said such a step could only be made in the face of a real risk of defeat. Some five percent of respondents provided no clear answer to this question.

Men, middle-aged and older Russians appeared to be more supportive of a nuclear option, according to the survey. Respondents with higher education and those perceiving the ongoing conflict as a potential threat to their personal security tend to oppose it.

Meanwhile, a majority of Russians expressed their readiness to aid the Russian forces fighting on the frontlines. According to the survey, 61% of respondents said they were ready to do so and almost 40% told the surveyors they had already provided some aid to the military at least once, through various aid and support programs. Almost 30% also collected clothes and various useful items for the soldiers.

The issue of a potential nuclear strike has briefly come into the spotlight in Russia after political scientist Sergey Karaganov raised such a possibility in an opinion piece.

In the article titled ‘A Difficult But Necessary Decision’, Karaganov argued that Russia could escalate to using nuclear weapons against European countries supporting Ukraine, in order to force the US and its allies to back off from a wider conflict with Russia and thus prevent a global nuclear war and World War 3.

In mid-June, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that even discussing of the issue lowers the threshold for a potential nuclear arms use. Under the current official doctrine, Russia will only utilize its atomic arsenal if faced with an existential threat, the president said at that time, adding that he also did not believe in using tactical, low-yield nuclear weapons as a deterrent.