Sanctions have not influenced Russian public opinion
Surveys by independent pollster, the Levada Centre, suggest that Russian opinion still solidly backs the country’s actions in Ukraine, despite sanctions. Support for Vladimir Putin and the annexation of Crimea has remained constant at over 80 % since March
Figure 1 – Russian public opinion and sanctions
(% of respondents agreeing with statement)
2014, while approval ratings for the EU and US have sunk to 38 % and 30% respectively. The percentage of respondents who claimed to have been affected by Western sanctions declined from a peak of 35 % in January 2015, to just 19 % in April 2017. In June 2017, over two thirds felt that Russia should continue its current policies, with only 19 % in favour of making concessions in order to get sanctions lifted.