Press release №1931


  • 49% of Russians respect and 39% are proud of the Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian officers are characterized by their courage, responsibility and readiness to defend country’s interests

A record number of Russians want their relatives to serve in the army.  

MOSCOW, February 21, 2017. In Anticipation of the Defender’s Day, Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the results of a survey describing how Russians perceive Russian Armed Forces.

In the public consciousness the Russian Armed Forces are mainly perceived positively: Russians express respect (46%), pride (39%), hope (26%), and trust (24%). The shares of negative assesments are small (distrust – 4%, disappointment – 4%).

According to respondents, Russian officers have many positive characters. Most of respondents say they defend national interest (average score on a scale of 1-5 is 4.3 with 1 being “not typical character” and 5 being “typical character”); they are courageous (4.3; this figure has increased from 3.7 in 2015), and responsible (4.3).

They are perceived as professionals (4.2) who are ready to risk their lives when performing their duties (4.2) and defend the interests of ordinary citizens (4.1). At the same time, respondents say that fairness (4.1), humane attitude (4.1) and honesty (4.0) are also typical for them. The least common feature (from the list of traits) is modesty (3.7).

Sixty-four percent of Russians would like their close relatives (male) to serve in the Russian army; they are opposed by 25%.

The VCIOM survey was conducted in October, 2016  in 130 settlements, 46 oblasts, krais and republics and 8 federal districts of Russia, with a sample of 1600 persons representative of the Russian population aged 18 and over according to sex, age, education, type of settlement. The survey was conducted with multi-stage stratified sample based on general rule of walking and quotas at the final selection stage.  The margin of error (taking into account the design effect) with 95% confidence interval does not exceed 3.4%. The survey method is community-based structured face-to-face interviews. Apart from the margin of error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork should be taken into account.

What feelings do you have when you hear someone talking about the Russian Armed Forces? (closed-ended question, not more than two answers, %)
Respect 46
Pride 39
Hope 26
Trust 24
Indifference 5
Admiration 5
Disappointment 4
Distrust 4
Skepsis 2
Condemnation 1
Don’t know
In your opinion, to what extent are the following characters typical for Russian officers? Please assess on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being “not typical character” and 5 being “typical character”. (closed-ended question, average score on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being “not typical character” and 5 being “typical character)
  2015 2016
Courage   3.7 4.3
Defending national interest 4.1 4.3
Responsibility 4.0 4.3
Professionalism 3.6 4.2
Ready to  risk his life when performing the duties 4.2 4.2
Fairness 4.2 4.1
Humane attitude 4.0 4.1
Ready to defend the interests of ordinary people  4.1 4.1
Honesty 4.0 4.0
Modesty 4.0 3.7
Would you like your son/brother/husband/close relative to serve in the Russian army now? *  (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  2002 2010 2012 2014 02.2015 11.2015 2016
Rather yes 20 36 52 53 47 57 64
Rather not 74 50 40 41 47 31 25
Don’t know 6 14 8 7 6 12 11

* Up to November 2015 the question was “Would you like your son/brother/husband/close relative to serve in the army now?»

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  Results of our study
  In focus