Crimea: Putin’s Pyrrhic Victory?
It seems that Russians want to have their cake, eat it too and get someone else to pay for it.
Recent polling data concerning the Russia-Ukraine crisis shows that an overwhelming majority of Russians support the Kremlin’s move to annex Crimea. But relatively few are willing to assume the costs that come with land-grabbing.
The results highlight the effectiveness of the Kremlin’s propaganda machine, while also raising an alarm about the threat the Putin administration may face when Russians start to feel pinched by the enormous costs associated with annexation.
The Levada Center, one of Russia’s leading national pollsters, released on April 9 a digest of several surveys on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and related issues conducted by the organization over the past several months. According to one of them, 57 percent of Russians said they “absolutely personally support” Crimea’s joining Russia. Another 31 percent said they “mostly personally support” it. Only 7 percent said they personally absolutely or mostly disapprove of annexation.
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