Press release №2142
15.02.2019
TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN: 30 YEARS LATER

IN BRIEF

  • 77% of Russians are aware of the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979-1989)
  • 26% of respondents would like to know more about the war
  • 42% of respondents believe that there was no need to send troops to Afghanistan

Today one-third of Russians consider that the Soviet Union was right to send troops to Afghanistan in 1979. 

MOSCOW, February 15, 2019. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a study devoted to what Russians know about the Soviet War in Afghanistan (1979-1989).

Three-quarters of Russians (77%) are aware of the Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989). Every tenth (9%) experienced this war; one-quarter (25%) read about the war; and 43% of respondents learned from eyewitnesses. Older generation is more informed about the war than the young people. 

According to 42% of respondents, there was no need to send troops to Afghanistan. Those who share this opinion are often residents of North Caucasus and Far Eastern Federal District (50%, each). They are opposed by 31% of Russians (48% among the 18-27-year-olds).

Every fourth respondent (26%) would like to know more about the Soviet War in Afghanistan; remarkably, this share is 39% among those aged 18-24. On the contrary, a majority of respondents (72%) do not want to know about this war more than they do at the moment. 

VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on February 13, 2019. The survey involved 1,600 Russians aged 18 and over. The survey was telephone-based and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

Do you know anything about the War in Afghanistan (1979-1989)? If yes, how did you learn about it?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents Aged 18-24 Aged 25-34 Aged 35-44 Aged 45-59 Aged 60 and over
I/my family experienced/witnessed this war 9 4 7 8 13 10
I learned about it from the eyewitnesses 43 33 30 43 56 43
I read about it 25 22 24 26 20 30
I know little about it/ I do not know anything at all 22 41 39 22 11 15
Don’t know 1 0 0 1 0 2
 
February marks 30 years since the Soviet withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. In your opinion, should the Soviet leadership have sent troops to Afghanistan? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents
  Total respondents Aged 18-24 Aged 25-34 Aged 35-44 Aged 45-59 Aged 60 and over
Yes, it was necessary   31 48 29 30 29 29
No, there was no need 42 19 42 40 44 49
Don’t know 27 33 29 30 27 22

Would you like to know more about the Soviet War in Afghanistan?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)  
  Total respondents Aged 18-24 Aged 25-34 Aged 35-44 Aged 45-59 60 and over
Rather yes 26 39 27 26 26 21
Rather no 72 60 70 72 70 77
Don’t know 2 1 3 2 4 2
Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory!
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