09.03 Polls Analytics RUSSIAN FIELD: SUPPORT FOR NON-SUPPORT OF PEACE AND WAR Over the past year, the independent Russian Field project has been surveying its respondents about their support for a renewed offensive against Kyiv and their support for a peace agreement with Ukraine. The answers to these questions allow us to identify three different groups: those who support escalation, those who are opposed to it, and conformists who approve of any decision made by the authorities. What is the structure of these groups and how do they relate to one another? 03.03 Analytics Putinism without Putin: what is it and is it even possible? Nikita Savin Not only for the Russian elites, but also for a significant part of the population who were relatively satisfied with the economic prosperity of life before the war, an attractive scenario for the future is not the total collapse of the regime, but rather the establishment of Putinism without Putin himself, as he has now threatened the very existence of this ideology 23.02 Analytics The Mastermind of Rebellion: Prigozhin, ‘a divided elite’ and ‘reverse perestroika’ Within the cacophony of nationwide approval for the ‘special operation’ and the harmonious hum of patriotic speeches, a captivating tale has emerged: a clash between Prigozhin and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. It serves as a rare example of Russia’s hidden political tensions bubbling to the surface and into the public domain. Although this conflict seems to be under control for the time being, that does not mean that it will not escalate into something much more violent in the future. 21.02 Propaganda Analytics The Narrative Matrix: Understanding and Deciphering Russian Propaganda Anton Shekhovtsov The propaganda campaign, which has accompanied Russia's aggression against Ukraine, might on the surface appear to be an eclectic mix of contradictory messages and assertions, but in reality it is entirely rational. It relies on a number of different types of narrative, strategic and tactical, aimed at different audiences — Russia, Ukraine, the ‘collective West’ and the ‘Global South’. 16.02 Analytics Digital Policy Divergence: authoritarian states are attempting to construct digital totalitarianism while European countries fight against it The Russian government is developing a digital surveillance ecosystem that will include algorithms for monitoring and censoring digital networks, facial recognition, and political profiling. Russia, like China, is attempting to establish a digital dictatorship standing in contrast to the EU debates taking place in the EU surrounding a ban on facial recognition technologies. 14.02 Analytics From Hybrid War to Civil War: The Cossacks have joined other private armies on the battlefield In addition to the Wagner PMC, there are other paramilitary formations fighting for the Russian side in Ukraine, including approximately 15,000 Cossacks. The rapid decentralisation of violence and the loss of the state’s monopoly on it, set against a background of military failures and the very real possibility of further political destabilisation, is highly likely to create systemic conditions for civil war in Russia. 24.01 Analytics Divided Peoples: How Might the War in Ukraine Shift the Balance of Inter-ethnic Relations in Russia? The war's outcome will have far-reaching consequences, and not only on the political structure of the post-Soviet space. It is very likely that it will cause a rethinking of Moscow's relationship with Russia's ethnic regions, acting as a catalyst for increased ethnopolitical protest and separatist sentiments. 20.01 War Analytics Unknown Soldiers: What Do We Know About Russian Military Losses in the War with Ukraine? What are Russia’s losses following eleven months of the war in Ukraine? This issue has received little media attention, but it is both pressing and paints a depressing picture of events. The dead have been hidden by the ‘fog of war’, which has meant that Russian society has been unable to comprehend or assess the real costs of the conflict. However, even allowing for the most conservative estimates, it appears that the Russian army’s losses are many times greater than the Soviet army’s casualties during the ten year war in Afghanistan. 20.01 Analytics YOUTUBE SOCIOLOGY Kirill Rogov The interview between Yuri Dud and Oscar Kuchera should be viewed as a stylised conversation between a Russian liberal and an ordinary Russian. This person neither has a  clear sense of the purpose of the war, nor are they convinced of its necessity. However, they express a generalised distrust of the West and Westerners, so they have convinced themselves that Putin is a rational actor, even though they are not privy to the details of his thought process. 13.01 Propaganda Analytics Mistrust Makers: The Structure of the Kremlin's Disinformation and Astroturfing Campaigns The Kremlin's large-scale activity on TikTok and other social networks yields no direct results, but has a serious secondary effect: Kremlin campaigns do not change the minds of those who hold opposing viewpoints, but sow mistrust and a sense of vulnerability of the sustainability of normative and liberal social structures. 26.12.22 Analytics The Forever War Following the success of ‘partial mobilisation’, the Kremlin has become preoccupied with the potential further mobilisation of Russian society. Shoigu and Putin recently announced military reforms proposing a return to the model of Russia as a belligerent state. This is based on the Soviet idea of building extensive military capacity, whereby the army’s quantity can compensate for its poor quality. 22.12.22 Analytics Ultimate Sovereignty: How Digitalisation Evolved from a Fetish to a Vulnerability Alexandra Prokopenko Until recently, becoming a global leader in digital technology had been one of Russia’s objectives, and it had already achieved some major accomplishments in this field. But, the invasion of Ukraine has changed everything: plans for global expansion have become irrelevant and investments have been lost. At the same time, the financial sector’s high level of digitalisation has now become its biggest vulnerability. 16.12.22 Analytics An Investment Anomaly Although the Russian economy contracted in 2022, there was an increase in investment activity compared to last year. It should be noted, however, that in many sectors these investments were not being used to expand production, but rather to replace disappearing imports and maintain production output in the wake of sanctions. 07.12.22 Analytics Enough Money to Keep the War Going Sergey Aleksashenko Russia’s budget revenues surpassed last year’s despite nine months of war, the contraction of its economy, the loss of export markets and sanctions. This has allowed the Kremlin to increase its military spending without any particularly serious consequences to its economy. Although a decline in income next year is inevitable, it is unlikely that this will affect Russia's ability to continue the war. 02.12.22 Analytics A boom in newcomers When the war broke out, the IMF predicted that Russia’s deep recession would hamper economic growth in neighbouring countries in 2022. But for many of its neighbours the crisis stemming from the war and its accompanying sanctions has proved to be an opportunity, as human capital has fled Russia to spend their money elsewhere. 24.11.22 Analytics The War Budget and the Race to the Bottom Defence and security spending has become the top priority in Russia’s 2023 budget — a third of the budget will be allocated towards this. Experts have expressed doubts that this will be enough to compensate for the losses in armaments and equipment that have been incurred in Ukraine to date. Russia is entering an arms race for the second time in 50 years, and a scenario in which this, once again, results in total collapse does not seem too far-fetched. 18.11.22 War Analytics Sixteen Scenarios and Five Triggers There is some agreement among experts that, when it comes to multiple possible scenarios for the outcome of the war, their probability is determined by several key factors: further arms supplies to Ukrainian troops, Russia's ability to overcome the disorganisation and demoralisation of its army, the condition of Ukrainian critical infrastructure, the nuclear "card", and the fate of the Putin regime itself. 10.11.22 Analytics Geo-economic Fragmentation: from impossible to inevitable? Until recently, a scenario in which the world underwent new geo-economic fragmentation had seemed quite fantastical, but now this is becoming increasingly likely, despite its potential consequences. We are witnessing growing tensions between democratic and authoritarian countries, and a situation in which political reasons are more often outweighing the fears of collateral economic losses. 09.11.22 Analytics Cyber Blitzkrieg vs. Cyber Solidarity Mirroring its failures on the battlefield, the Kremlin's hopes for a blitzkrieg in cyberspace have not come to fruition. Moscow underestimated the willingness of governments and private companies to counter Russian cyber forces with horizontal cooperation. As such, the Russian-Ukrainian cyber war might signal the beginning of a reconfiguration of the international cyber security landscape. 07.11.22 Polls Analytics The War Party Is Losing Ground In All Polls Time is working against the war — respondents' expectations regarding their financial situation and economic prospects are deteriorating, and the support for military operations in Ukraine is decreasing along with them. According to data from three independent sociological projects, the core of support for the "special military operation" and the "war party" is also shrinking. 27.10.22 Analytics The Global South vs. The Global West: a battle of narratives To engage developing countries and the major powers of the "Global South" in a pro-Ukrainian coalition, the West needs to "repackage” the narrative of the Russian-Ukrainian war, shifting the emphasis from "values" to a rhetoric of sovereignty and territorial integrity that would be more widely accepted in a postcolonial world. 21.10.22 Analytics Dynamic Ceiling Europe continues to prepare for a winter without Russian gas and develop a strategy to reduce economic losses and prevent social instability. In Germany, whose economy is a driving force of the EU, the idea of a dynamic price ceiling is actively discussed amid bakery owners' and far-right demonstrations. However, the idea is to introduce it only at the end of winter. 07.10.22 Analytics Revenues Forced to Match Spending Russia's budget for next year is based on some dangerously optimistic assumptions, namely that oil prices will be high and the Russian economy will quickly recover from sanctions. These predictions, however, are based on the idea that spending costs will be high even if income levels decrease. Will the Russian government abandon its conservative budget policy in 2023? 03.10.22 Polls Analytics The Journey from 1945 to 1941 According to sociological data, Russia’s mobilisation came as a shock to its citizens. Even among the war’s supporters there are at least three different parties with their own justifications and interpretations of current events. 26.09.22 Ideologies Analytics Opportunism By Way Of Sovietism and Anti Globalism Alexander Panchenko Post-Soviet Russia is not unique by any means, but it is probably the only major nation of the 21st century where a radical conspiratorial worldview is popular not only in mass culture but also among the political establishment. Alexander Panchenko discusses the setup of ideological narratives of late Putinism. 23.09.22 Analytics Inside the Inferiority Complex Vladimir Putin's recent address to the Russian public contained a direct threat to use nuclear weapons against the West — this rhetoric both refers to Russia's nuclear doctrine and fundamentally distorts its previous defensive and compensatory nature. Re: Russia — on Vladimir Putin’s attempt to falsify the Russian nuclear doctrine and turn it into an instrument of aggression. 16.09.22 Ideologies Analytics The Mobilisation of the Demobilised Ekaterina Schulmann The idea of self-sacrifice and the cult of death underlying the new ideology of the Russian regime are in conflict with the humanization of social norms that has been taking place in Russian society over the past twenty years. Ekaterina Schulmann on the prospects for ideological mobilisation in Russia. 16.09.22 Ideologies Analytics The Crusade and the Ferris Wheel Andrei Zorin The ideology of Putin's regime has gone from an approach based on ideals of a "strong state and civilized way of life" to the revanchist messianism that has become the ideological foundation of the current military venture. But, as Professor Andrei Zorin of Oxford University writes, this ideology has always been dedicated to the task of ensuring the irremovability of those in power. 12.09.22 Analytics "The SMO is yours, but the problems it creates are ours" Alexander Kynev Despite the attempts to establish total control, regional elections in Russia remain a field of very specific competition, in which federal party brands play the role of franchises and "privacy screens" masking the bizarre struggle of local elite groups and activist projects. Political scientist Alexander Kynev discusses the peculiarities of the election campaign and the first outcomes of the 2022 elections in Russia. 05.08.22 Polls Analytics A Broad Front of Inadequacy The July poll conducted by the Levada Center demonstrates that the Russian’s attitudes toward the war and Kremlin policies remain unchanged and are largely accompanied by a surprisingly high optimism regarding the prospects of the Russian economy and society as a whole. Kirill Rogov discusses the specifics of social attitudes in the summer of 2022. 18.07.22 Analytics Telegram vs. TV Data from a June poll conducted by the Levada Center shows that the war has not changed the fundamental trend of recent years: the share of people who get their information on current events from TV has fallen back after a brief spike at the beginning of the war, while the share of those who get it from the Internet has continued to grow. 24.06.22 Analytics Is the World at Risk of a New Great Divergence? The polls show that the Western alliance will have difficulty getting China, South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East to support its sanctions policy against Russia, and the world may face geo-economic fragmentation if pressure from the alliance is too strong. 23.06.22 Analytics Dark Times Powerful Western sanctions were supposed to hit the Russian economy and weaken Vladimir Putin's regime, but today the economic and political losses incurred by the West seem to be more noticeable. Kirill Rogov discusses the differences in responses to signs of a crisis between democracies and autocracies. 20.06.22 Analytics Crisis Euphoria Polls in May recorded a rise in economic optimism and a decrease in crisis expectations, which can be explained both by the general mobilization effect — the growth of regime support indicators and positive assessments of the country's prospects — and the widespread feeling that the crisis was short-lived and limited in its influence.