Happy Defender’s Day!
Taking a break from Putin’s defense manifesto, let’s look at this year’s opinion polls on the army’s big holiday.
Levada’s poll is not so interesting this year. Responses to its questions generally fell within the 3.4 percent margin of error of last year’s survey.
But the number of respondents who thought drafted family members should find a way to avoid serving fell from 41 to 36 percent this year.
People also indicated a slightly greater belief that dedovshchina is more prevalent in the army. This year 19 percent think it happens everywhere against 13 percent in 2011. Those believing it occurs in a small number of military units dipped from 27 to 23 percent this year.
VTsIOM’s results were actually a little more interesting.
The agency reported again this year that 55 percent of respondents felt the Russian Army is capable of defending the country against a military threat. But on the current training of troops, 30 percent saw positive tendencies, 30 percent negative tendencies, and 29 percent said they don’t see any changes.
A surprising 68 percent, according to VTsIOM, believe the level of outfitting of Russian forces with modern arms and equipment is average or higher. Still, 72 percent feel equipping the army with more modern weapons is needed to increase combat readiness (?!).
Some 68 percent of respondents were aware, to one degree or another, of Russia’s military reforms. Sixty-seven percent consider them essential.
VTsIOM, unfortunately, didn’t publish its exact questions and responses to each; it just aggregates its results in a verbal description.
But it did show us one full question. Are the transformations introduced into the Armed Forces essential or not essential for increasing the army’s combat capability? The answers:
- Essential but insufficient — 55 percent.
- Essential and sufficient — 12 percent.
- Not essential, better to end them — 8 percent.
- Hard to answer — 24 percent.