Copyright © 2021

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Kremlin preparing to combat demos as signs of Crimea-fatigue appear

Crimean Tatars protest the Russian occupation
Crimean Tatars protest the Russian occupation. February-March 2014
Russians are less enthralled about the annexation of Crimea than they were a few months ago, according to a Levada Center poll, an apparent result of information fatigue and growing recognition of the costs involved but a trend that appears to have prompted the Kremlin to organize popular militias (druzhinniki) to combat opposition protests.

Most government outlets have stressed that the new poll shows Russians to have become more acceptant of Crimea being part of the Russian Federation than they were, but the opposition Dozhd television in its report today argues that the poll shows something else — that “Russians have begun to reflect upon the negative consequences of the annexation.”

Over the last six months, feelings of joy about the annexation and approval of the leadership of the country on this point have fallen, the poll found, as have the percentage of Russians who “are ready to reduce their personal spending in order to finance the new region” of the Russian Federation.

According to the latest poll, the share of Russians who say they feel joy about Crimea now being part of Russia stands at 16 percent, compared to 23 percent four months earlier. Forty percent say they approve of the Kremlin’s actions on Crimea, down from 47 percent; and 30 percent say that the annexation makes them proud of their country, down from 37 percent earlier.

Those opposed to the annexation number only nine percent, the same figure as in the earlier poll.  But far fewer think that residents of Ukraine and other neighboring countries do not have negative opinions about Russia and Russians than did earlier. But 73 percent say that they view Crimea as part of Russia, up from 64 percent earlier, the figure government outlets cite.

While this poll does not suggest a sea change in Russian attitudes, the softening of support if not the hardening of opposition to what Putin has been doing appears to be behind plans to form “anti-Maidan popular militias [druzhinniki]” as part of an effort to ward off “anti-government” actions by “the extra-systemic opposition” (

In some regions, including Crimea, these groups are to begin work this month. They supposedly will monitor the situation and assist the police, but some observers say that they are being created to fight a danger that does not exist and that may in the end provoke precisely the kind of opposition the regime appears to be concerned about.

[hr]Source: (with permission)

You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!
Related Posts