Condemning the rebellion
However, most of the respondents condemned Prigozhin’s actions, seemingly in line with the authorities and state television channels. A sharp deterioration in attitudes toward the Wagner chief was first shown in our monthly survey, with approval of Prigozhin’s activities halving from 58% in the first days of the survey to 30% at the end. By the beginning of July, it had fallen still lower, to 22%.
Note that the attitudes toward Prigozhin deteriorated chiefly among people who are not particularly competent in political issues – people who follow events, but not very carefully and thus whose judgments on the headline news are heavily influenced by state television. This is mostly women of retirement age who learned about the rebellion after the fact from Channel One and Russia-1.
The main sin of Prigozhin for them is that he “made a rebellion” and “sowed confusion,” disrupted calm, everyday life, went against the authorities
, the president, the country, the people. His opponents see an important argument against Prigozhin in the fact that army pilots were shot down and killed by Wagner during the rebellion. According to focus group participants, they will “never forgive” him for this. Survey respondents see the main reason for the rebellion in Prigozhin’s personal ambitions: he “wanted power and money,” “played the game too much” and, according to every fifth respondent, “exceeded his authority.” In other words, he got too big for his britches. Just 2% of respondents were ready to believe that Prigozhin was “bought out by the Americans.”Moderate anxiety
The most common reaction to the June 24 events was anxiety
, which on the day of the mutiny found expression in a spike in interest in cash FX
, as well as plane tickets
to other countries. However, neither the former nor the latter was in any way comparable to the level of panic observed in February and September 2022, after the start of the “special operation” and partial mobilization, respectively. Our long-running gauges also show that Prigozhin’s rebellion had virtually no effect on public sentiment.
Thus, respondents’ assessments of their well-being, which plummeted last autumn immediately after the announcement of the partial mobilization, did not change in June versus the previous month: 13% of respondents reported high assessments, while 62% said that they were in a normal or even mood – even though an attempt at an armed rebellion in their country had just failed. However, a closer examination of the survey results by day reveals that on the day of the mutiny, assessments began to plummet – dropping almost 10 percentage points – before bouncing back to normal the next day.
A similar situation was observed
with the question about where the country is headed. This indicator sank seven percentage points in June versus May, though on the day of the mutiny it was down 15 points before partially recovering. To a subsequent question about what is exactly worrying respondents about the situation in the country,