Tsargrad Institute Seminars : Sociology. Society's attitude towards SMO
Andrei Perla: Good afternoon, dear colleagues. Allow me to thank all those who took the opportunity to participate in today's round table at the Tsargrad Institute, which was dedicated to analysing the attitude of Russian society towards the Special Military Operation and its prospects. Without a long introduction, I will leave the floor to the founder of Tsargrad, our leader Konstantin Malofeev, to say the first and most important words about the first sociological survey conducted by the Tsargrad Institute on the topic: 'The socio-political situation and sentiment of Russian residents, in the context of the Special Military Operation conducted in Ukraine today'.
Please, Konstantin Valeryevich
Malofeev: Thank you to all the experts and guests who participated in the seminar in person and online. We have already published the results of sociological research on the subject of Russian society's attitude to the Special Military Operation earlier this year on the Tsargrad TV channel.
Today we have an academic presentation of this research with comments, expert assessments and statements by you, dear participants, on this issue. We would like to analyse the results in more depth than the media, where they are provided without any feedback. We have extracted the main data from the survey, which I will present, after which Andrei Perla, who worked directly with the team of sociologists who conducted the survey, will tell us about its methodology. Alexander Dugin, director of the Institute, will tell us about the conclusions and how they were received by the public and the media. Then.
The first slide is the results of our measurements. We started by trying to find out from the survey participants which issues concerned them the most. In first place, with 62.8%, is the special military operation in Ukraine and its consequences. Even a typical and always recurring answer such as rising prices and inflation is far behind, with 51%. This is followed by low wages, pensions, scholarships - 36%, corruption in the authorities, bureaucratic arbitrariness - 32%. And then fairly large failure and various other answers. We can therefore say with great certainty that it is the special military operation in Ukraine and its consequences that most concern the Russian population.
The next question was about the respondents' degree of involvement in what is happening. Do they know who is currently in command of the Russian troops in Ukraine? Do Russians follow the news, to what extent do they know what is happening on a daily basis in the SMO area? Recall that our survey was conducted in January, i.e. a few days after the change of the operation commander from Surovikin to Gerasimov. Therefore, it is more apparent today than it was then. We were amazed and pleased by the high level of interest and attention of the Russian population to the news about the Special Military Operation. 38% told us that Gerasimov was responsible, 17% named Surovikin and 6% Shoigu. In other words, we can say that our respondents are well aware of what is happening every day on the front lines of the Special Military Operation.
The next question: 'Do you approve or disapprove of the activities of the following leaders of the Special Military Operation?' This was the question that elicited the most emotion, including from some of the officers invited to our round table discussion. And it seems to us that it is certainly a weak position to bury one's head in the sand and pretend nothing is happening. For it is obvious that we must understand and know the truth. After all, victory depends first and foremost on the support of the population. Therefore, we need to understand how the population feels about the military leaders who are in charge of the Special Military Operation. Because, as it were, the common perception of the False Army Act leads us to try not to talk about the Russian Armed Forces at all. For example, the Tsargrad TV channel, as a mass media, knows very well what can and cannot be talked about. Therefore, this sociological survey does not violate the existing legislation in any way.
So, what is the performance evaluation of Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu? In this regard, I draw your attention to the results: 29.9% answered 'yes, I approve'; 16.4% 'rather approve', 11.5% 'rather disapprove', 33.6% 'do not approve'. For 8%, it was difficult to answer. That is, the activity of Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu is known to the largest number of respondents, only 8.6% found it difficult to answer and he is our only leader in the 'disapprove' column. He is the most disapproved of all. Today experts, starting with Alexander Dugin and Vladimir Dobrenkov, will have a chance to comment on the reasons for this public disapproval. But I will simply say that this reaction has taken place. By the way, we are trying to repeat our survey, i.e. update the results to understand the dynamics of public opinion over the next two months. Chief of Staff Gerasimov is in the middle of our 'ranking'. He is approved or rather endorsed by 27.3% and 17.8%. This is generally a serious figure, about 45% in total. Rather, 8.1 and 26.9 per cent disapprove and disapprove respectively. That is, only about 35%. And the leader of the popular approval was the commander of the combined group of Russian troops in Ukraine, Sergey Surovikin. By the time we conducted our poll, he had been replaced by Gerasimov. The Ministry of Defence probably had internal reasons. Because in terms of public opinion Surovikin is much more popular. In particular, more than 50% of those who took part in the survey approve of his work, while only 33% disapprove of him.
Follow-up question. "Do you participate in fundraising or other forms of assistance to the Russian army in Ukraine?". We also needed to determine the degree of citizen involvement. The majority - 31.1% - answered 'Yes, I am already involved'. "No, but I plan to get involved" - 16.4%. The combination of these answers brings us to almost 50%. For 15% it was difficult to answer. "No, and I have no intention of participating" - 33.8%. I would like to draw your attention to these figures, which are repeated again and again. Overall, about 50% approve and rather approve. These are matched quantitatively by those who participate in aid and fundraising, and about 30-35% who disapprove. These are the numbers that will wander, in different forms, from question to question. Next.
There was also a question: "Are you interested in partial mobilisation in the autumn of 2022?". Again, to determine how much a given respondent is personally or emotionally affected by the special military operation. The answers are as follows: 9% - "Yes, a close relative (son, husband) is mobilised". "Yes, friends, acquaintances, work colleagues and so on are mobilised" - 51.7%, a total of 60%. "No, there are no mobilised among my relatives" - 37%.
The next question was "What do you think about the mobilisation fugitives?". The answers were divided as follows: "I categorically disapprove of their actions, they are deserters" - 31%. "I do not approve of their actions, but I can understand them to a certain extent" - 31.4%. "I approve of their actions" - 26%.
Question: "What is your general attitude towards the special military operation in Ukraine?". Here are, in fact, the 50s and 30s again. "Completely in favour" - 37.6%. "Somewhat in favour" - 15.6%, i.e. only 50.3. "Rather do not support" - 9.1% and "Strongly oppose special operation" - 26.5%, i.e. only 35% of respondents. 11% are not ready to answer this question.
The next question. "What is your attitude towards the return of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions to Russia?" Results of the answers: 'Totally in favour' - 42.9%. "Rather favourable" - 12.6%. Again, the total support is about 55% of the respondents. "Rather not in favour" - 8.9%. "Categorically not in favour" - 22.8%. Again, this is about 32% of the opponents. Time after time we have 50-55% of respondents who support, 30-35% who do not support, 12% who are not ready to answer this question. And no matter what question we ask. "What is your attitude towards the return to Russia of the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions?". It does not seem to be directly related to the special military operation. And the answer, the ratio between 'yes' and 'no', 'for' and 'against' is the same.
"What do you think about the idea of a ceasefire in Ukraine without achieving the objectives of the Special Military Operation?". Again, look what an incredible coincidence of numbers: 40% - "no ceasefire until the objectives of the Special Military Operation are fully achieved"; 12.2% - "I am in favour of concluding a ceasefire only after the return of all Russian land". Such a question certainly presupposes victory. And at the same time 35.6% are in favour of concluding an armistice, but certainly in this case without achieving the stated objectives, without any conditions, i.e. a ceasefire immediately. Again, 52.6% in favour, 35.6% against. And precisely the 11-12% who have difficulty answering the questions.
Next question. "What do you think about the idea of a ceasefire in Ukraine with the loss of part of the territories of the regions that have become part of Russia?" We understand that right now the status of the Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions is very conditional. Why is it still unclear, and no one has ever clearly answered the question, whether we have included the Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions within their historical borders, or along the current front line? Answers: 41.9% - 'No truce, until the objectives of the Special Military Operation are fully achieved'. They are in favour of concluding an armistice only after the return of all Russian lands - again, correspondingly, 11.8%, which together with 41.9% gives the same sought-after 53.7% support. As many as 33% support the conclusion of an armistice.
Almost similar indicators characterise the respondents' attitude towards the idea of a new attack on Kiev, to which the next research question is devoted:
39.2% support the idea of fighting until the end of the war. "Partly I am in favour, partly I am not" - 11.6%. This is a very sharp question, already on Kyiv, not at all on Donetsk, Zaporozhye and Kherson and almost the same figures. Again 34% are not in favour, they think a ceasefire is necessary.
The next question is particularly interesting. "Which cities in Ukraine must necessarily become Russian before a ceasefire can be concluded?". The list continues: Odessa - 36.8%, Kherson - 36.7%. Let me remind you that Odessa is not a city under the control of our Armed Forces right now. It is the first on the list. Zaporizhzhya - 33.4%, Kharkiv - 33.2%. "None" - 30.9%. They are the same ones who 'cease fire immediately', wandering from one issue to another. Mykolaiv - 30%, Dnipropetrovsk - 27.8%, Kyiv - 19.8%. The whole of Ukraine is to become part of Russia - 19.3%. And then there are other cities.
The last slide we wanted to show you. "How would your attitude to the Russian government's policy change in the case of a ceasefire in Ukraine, with the loss of part of the territory of the regions that have become part of Russia?" I think this is the question we owe to the absence of colleagues from the presidential administration at our round table. Because it is the most forbidden question. Because you cannot conclude a ceasefire, so to speak, without backing it up with a popular vote. Therefore, our VCIOM colleagues are ready to provide the forecasts that will be requested when the need arises. Here are the figures from our objective poll, carried out without any kind of state technical mandate: "categorically would not support" - 30.3%; "would prefer not to support" - 14%. I call your attention: 30.3 plus 14 - again 44.3%. "Somewhat in favour" - 14%; "fully in favour" - 20.1%. For a total of 34%, and a significantly increased variant of the answer: 'I am not ready to answer this question'. Our probable patriotic consensus of 50-55% dissolves in this question. Because it turns out that if the government is ready to sign a cease-fire, the following question already arises: if you support the government and the authorities, you should answer 'I support', but on the other hand, it seems that you answered earlier that you want a war until the end of the war. This question is therefore the most interesting, in my opinion, and the answer to it also requires our discussion and interpretation today. Therefore, I am personally very interested in hearing your expert assessments of what the answer to this question and the data we have received mean. Thank you. I will conclude my presentation with this.
Andrei Perla: Thank you very much, Konstantin Valeryevich. With your permission, colleagues, as the person responsible for conducting this survey, I will tell you a little bit about how it was done.
Because for Russia, we did not choose the most traditional methodology to conduct it. Specifically, the mass survey was conducted entirely online, completely online. This is a technology that has been widely used in marketing research in the past. However, it has been used less frequently to conduct opinion polls on political issues. Reverse sampling technology. Building an online sample without first recruiting respondents. When social media respondents are invited to participate in surveys through the use of contextual advertising, social media posts, in some popular accounts, and banners. Sampling takes place exactly as in traditional mass opinion polls. And we obtain results that are quite comparable in terms of accuracy to traditional surveys carried out by traditional pollsters.
The main condition is the deep penetration of the Internet in the life of the average Russian person. In fact, today it is possible to construct a sample for a mass opinion poll with high accuracy for almost all social groups. Our traditional idea that pensioners, for example, are less likely to use social media is no longer relevant. Any social group can be influenced by Internet research. This applies to the elderly, to the relatively poor, to people who earn good money, to young people and so on.
Consequently, we have the result of a sociological survey, which is fairly representative of the Russian population as a whole and takes into account the opinions of all social groups. If the participants of the Round Table wish so, we are ready to provide similar data with a breakdown of the survey results according to all traditional socio-demographic characteristics: gender, age, income and occupation of the survey participants. At the same time, we are aware that the very fact that the survey is conducted exclusively online gives rise to criticism about its accuracy. We are prepared to accept this criticism and discuss it. If there are direct questions about the methodology, I am ready to answer them now. If, however, there are questions for further discussion, I would give the floor to Alexander Dugin to make a substantive assessment of the study.
Vladimir Dobrenkov: Colleagues. The sample is 951 people, I think?
Andrei Perla: Yes.
Vladimir Dobrenkov: Is that enough to draw conclusions about the results of the survey? This is the first question. And the second question. Does the study take into account the degree of maturity, for example political maturity? It is impossible to measure it.
But many of the people recorded here, especially in the category of those who do not support and criticise the Special Military Operation, and I think we are talking about a huge number of people in Russia, still do not understand what is happening in the modern world. And their level of political consciousness is not high enough, you see? So, as a sociologist, I am critical of the views of those people in this study who said, for example, that they do not support or are critical of SMO.
In my opinion, these are very immature people. Mainly because for 30 years of dominance, the liberal ideology has brainwashed the population of our country to such an extent that many people simply do not understand what is going on. There is a war going on, a real war. Our people are dying. The country has risen up to defend itself. The whole country, the whole population. It seems to me that the data of this study in terms of real support for the special military operation is underestimated. I, however, as a sociologist, can affirm this. I do not always trust sociological surveys. Because there can be mistakes, a wrong sample, or the results are reinterpreted in their own way.
In general, however, I would say that the survey gives an idea of how our society feels about the questions that have been asked. But the interpretation can be different. However, I personally do not trust those who said they do not support SMO. What could they possibly know about the army leadership and so on? Many people don't know anything. Especially if young people took part in the voting, you know?
Andrei Perla: May I answer that?
Vladimir Dobrenkov: The category of people who participated in the poll is very important, also in terms of age. In general, the poll gives an idea, but at the same time, in my opinion, it does not reflect the real state of affairs.
Andrei Perla: First of all, if I may, I will address the validity of the survey data. The sample was constructed in exactly the same way as in traditional polls, in the traditional ways of conducting opinion polls, whether by telephone or door-to-door. Therefore, it cannot be said that an Internet poll distorts the picture in any way. We are prepared to answer that by answering the questions asked, we got exactly the spectrum of opinions that exists in Russian society today. As for the immaturity of the respondents. Here it is difficult and probably pointless to argue with you. Because, in fact, the level of understanding of the issues discussed in opinion polls is different for all respondents. But that is precisely what sociology is for, to study the spectrum of opinions that really exists in society. Not what we would like to see in society. Yes, indeed, I fully agree with this statement and I think everyone agrees that a very significant part of the population is not sufficiently informed. A very significant part of the population believes that they are sufficiently informed, but at the same time they are guided by some false perceptions. A very significant part of the population believes (and personally my opinion coincides with this assessment) that Russian state propaganda in relation to the Special Military Operation is insufficient. This, in particular, can be deduced from the results of this survey. But as far as the accuracy of these results, their ability to be used and quoted, I would like to say that this survey was conducted quite well.
Colleagues, then your question and then we will give the floor to Alexander Gellievich.
Alexey Chadaev: I looked specifically at your survey, from which you usually take your information, and compared it with the VCIOM. I agree, however, that you can create your sample as you wish, similar to that of traditional pollsters, but your own methodology immediately and significantly corrects the sample you have created, right on the basic source of information.
Andrei Perla: Not the sampling. It does not correct the sample, excuse me, please. It corrects exactly the result of the answer to that very question. It is clear that if we conduct a survey on the Internet, we get more people who consider the Internet as the main source of information.
Alexei Chadaev: Yes, that's right.
Andrei Perla: What's surprising about that?
Alexei Chadaev: Yes, it is. And this is what is important to understand, in principle, when evaluating the results of this study. That this is not Russia, but Russia living on the Internet
Andrei Perla: Also, this is Russia living on social media. Thank you, and now I leave the floor to Alexander Dugin.
Alexander Dugin: The characteristics of this study are to describe the opinion of "netizens", the "Russians of the Internet". Are there many of them? Many. From a sociological point of view, Russians can be divided into two categories: 'TV Russians' and 'Internet Russians'. They differ significantly in their attitudes. Today, a significant number of people, especially the younger generation, do not watch television at all, probably many do not even know what it is. Television has become a rather limited niche for the transmission of information. One cannot say that television viewers are Russians per se, but neither can one say that Internet Russians are all Russians. There are both, and the opinion of both groups is important. There is probably a mixed category: TV-internet Russians who know what TV is, watch it from time to time, but mainly inform themselves on social networks.
In any case, Internet Russians have become a fairly representative medium. To some extent, their opinion reflects the mood of society as a whole. To what extent exactly? Society is so complex that any statistics can be misleading. To some extent, Internet Russians can be a reference group.
What do we see in the study with this correction? First, there is a solid presence of patriots (both convinced and situated) among Internet Russians, well over 50%. More than 50 per cent of Internet Russians actively and fully support the Special Military Operation, as reflected in all the survey data. If only TV Russians were considered, this figure would be considerably higher - clearly over 70% and around 80%. But the opinion of an Internet Russian is not the same as that of a TV Russian. Those who actively use social networks make their choice more decisively, based on their own environment, their own opinion, their own analysis. And here is the first conclusion: our Internet territory today is largely patriotic.
Second point. The dissatisfaction with SMO's conduct, adapted to the fact that we are talking about Internet Russians, is still quite significant. Konstantin Valeryevich Malofeev's comment about the shortcomings of our media and our government's activities is absolutely justified. The negative assessment is quite high. Among TV Russians this negative assessment is lower. Significantly so. It fluctuates constantly around 31%, - 32%. This group should be watched more closely, we should pay attention to them. After all, 30% of Internet Russians are, at the very least, victims of enemy propaganda or, in extreme cases, potential terrorists. Of this 30%, Western intelligence agencies will recruit their agents, including members of terrorist groups. Enemies are easily able to make such an analysis - to identify those who do not support SSOs and to work with these people. This is therefore a signal that I would take very seriously.
It may also be that conducting such a survey on the Internet compounds the problem that is lost when TV Russians are added to the number of respondents. The difference between an Internet Russian and a TV Russian is that a TV Russian is vertically and unidirectionally connected to the source of information: one receives it and keeps quiet. Unless one can argue on TV. But an Internet Russian can reply online: I don't like SMO. And make his message active. By saying it out loud. A horizontal model and the presence of feedback.
As a result, among the most active Russians - Internet Russians - 30 per cent have some objection to SMO. I think this is a huge danger. A huge danger for today, and an even bigger danger for tomorrow. I would like to sound the alarm based on this kind of Internet research. And think about what to do. Apparently, increasing the number of hours of patriotic programmes on television will have no effect on this audience. We need new strategies. We need a qualitative approach, not a quantitative one. We need to review our network models.
True, among Russians on the Internet we have a solid 50 per cent support for SMO. But again, this is largely not a consequence of our government's work and direct propaganda, but the result of the mobilisation of military and patriots, and people of different ages. And the authorities cannot attribute it to themselves - 'look, look how well we are doing'. It is only good because our people are so sensitive, so deep, so righteous and moral and also politically observant. Our people are good. And it's not propaganda at all. On the networks, I think the actual results of the state are insignificant. What is important is that the people themselves support SWO, that is a very telling result.
Regarding the rather high rating of Sergei Shoigu. Konstantin Valerievich Malofeev drew attention to this fact. This is surprising, in fact. I think the effect is mainly that there are persistent opponents of SMO and that it is the same 30 per cent that we see everywhere. These internet Russians will support anything but a victory for Russia, not for SMO, not for our state, not for our achievements. But they are joined by another category: the patriots who think that the level of our Special Military Operations is too efficient, not active, that the army is not successful enough. If you add these two points together, you get a high percentage of anti-Chougou. It is here that others are added to the 30%. That is, those who are critical of Shoigu are, all together, those who are against the SMO as a whole, and also a significant proportion of active and convinced patriots who feel that the army's achievements are insufficient. I suggest this interpretation, because in this case the figures are somewhat different from the general trend. One cannot get such a negative assessment otherwise.
I would now like to say a few words about our institute's projects, also in the field of sociology. Conducting surveys is a very important but still purely technical aspect of sociology. I am very happy to have Vladimir Ivanovich Dobrenkov, the founder of Russian sociology, among us. After the pleiad of our great sociologists of the first half of the 20th century, such as Pitirim Sorokin, the establishment of sociological science in the USSR is linked to Dobrenkov. I am convinced that it is necessary to raise acute and fundamental questions about sociology as a science in general.
The first thing that needs to be changed, in my opinion, is the balance that currently exists in the paradigms of Russian sociology. We need a transition from a liberal (individualist) approach to a non-liberal social approach. We could say that we need a transition from the domain of Weber's 'sociology of understanding' to the functionalism of Durkheim and his school (including anthropology - Moss, C. Lévi-Strauss, etc.). We should take as our basis the position that society and collective consciousness are the ultimate instance that predetermines the content of the individual and precedes it.
When we were guided by the liberal approach, we asked: what do you think, citizen? Before that, however, the citizen was brainwashed by certain purely social (i.e. not individual) instances and continues to be brainwashed even when asked. If the citizen's answer diverges in any way from the views of liberals, one immediately concludes that this citizen is an idiot, undeveloped and a victim of obscurantist myths. And if his answer coincides with the opinions of the liberals, i.e. if the pollster more or less correctly repeats what the liberals have just instilled in him, one happily concludes: look, his opinion is a sign of his freedom and independence. These are the fictions that the liberal tendency in sociology deals with, which is nothing but aggressive totalitarian ideological propaganda. This is what science must put an end to, not sociology. At the very least, we should stop lying to ourselves and regard self-fulfilling prophecy as a valuable result of empirical research.
Of course, it must be admitted that sociology is a biased discipline. Pierre Bourdieu has made a detailed and convincing case for this. The sociologist is always biased. The idea that a sociologist can be free from society is deeply unprofessional and shows no perception. It is a professional disqualification. Every sociologist should have his own worldview, his own social position, his own situation. Sociology is always committed. But either it is liberally engaged, or it is not liberally engaged. Liberals, as convinced racists with zero tolerance for their opponent's opinion, deny non-liberalism as such. It is, they say, the 'enemies of the open society' and the enemies must be killed. Liberals have not always been so tough, but that is how it is today. Liberalism is an extremist ideology and any academic discipline built on the liberal paradigm is headed towards such extremism.
So - if only to counterbalance this liberal extremism that borders on intellectual (and practical) terrorism - we need a non-liberal sociological commitment.
Before speaking for sociology as such, every sociologist must first identify his or her paradigmatic platform. For instance, someone says: I am a liberal. All right, all right, that is his position. Then he will tell us the results of his liberal research. Everything will be distorted, depending on the ideological starting conditions - not only the interpretation of the data, but also the design of the surveys, the methods of conducting them, etc.
But in the era of SMO, we need a different sociology for the independent Russian civilisation that our President talks about. We need a committed Russian sociology that develops around the fundamental thesis of the identity of Russian society, the cultural code. We need a paradigm for the sociology of Russian society.
At the same time, in order to construct such a sociology of Russian society, it is by no means necessary to consider only our internal Russian sociology. The school - from Pitirim Sorokin to Vadimir Dobrenkov. One can refer to a vast stratum of world sociology that, however, does not share the liberal view that the individual shapes society and, on the contrary, insists that society shapes the individual. This is the criterion. And Durkheim, Sombart, Scheler, social anthropology (including the American school of Franz Boas) and many others correspond to it. The important thing is not how one feels about Putin, the Orthodox Church or the special military operation. The main thing lies in the paradigm: if we admit that it is society that forms the content of an individual and not vice versa. Then we have to study society as a holistic whole (L. Dumont) and this requires a deep attention to its cultural codes, its identity, its history. And this, in turn, is what makes sociology Russian.
At the moment, the opposite is true of Russian sociology. I believe that 80%-90% of our sociologists, influenced by the modern Western paradigm, think that the individual is primary and that by changing the individual, we can change society as a whole. Liberal ideology states that the individual can do what he or she wants with society, break it down into elements and recreate it. This approach is also controversial from a theoretical point of view: is not the very notion of the 'individual' a sociological concept introduced from above - from the centres of epistemological power (M. Foucault)? But today such an approach is simply hostile. It promotes an active decomposition of the social whole, atomising people.
This means that colossal paradigm shifts are needed in the structures of sociological science and sociological education. And this, of course, will also affect specific sociological studies. We must study society, not people. Society is not a collection of individual citizens. Aristotle said that the whole is not a totality of parts. If we put all the parts of a living being together, we will never obtain the whole. For a living being to be studied as a whole. It is the holistic approach of sociology that should dominate.
Yes, there can be dissenters. Yes, there can be dissidents. They are entitled to 15% - 20% in academia. They should have the right to come out quietly and proclaim: we are liberals and fundamentally disagree, we believe that the individual comes first. Russian sociologists will calmly listen to this, take note and continue to develop their sociology.
In other words, we need a fundamental change of proportions in sociological science, its theory and practice.
It is very important to remember what Pierre Bourdieu has clearly and convincingly demonstrated. Sociology, both in theory and methods, is an active position. It does not reflect the existing society, it constructs it. And the poll is only one of the methods of this active construction, in fact propaganda.
Let us take our opinion poll. We may or may not include the respondents' attitude towards PMC Wagner and Yevgeny Prigozhin. If we don't include it, we get a picture. If we include it, we get a completely different picture. And, depending on how we formulate the questions, we are already planning the answers. The choice between Surovikin and Gerasimov is one thing. The addition of Prigozhin changes everything. So the choice between Medvedev and Kirienko is a poll. If you add Putin it is another. And if you add Prigozhin, the picture takes a leap. What kind of jump? It is hard to imagine. In any case, we are forming boundary parameters, which are defined by what we want to achieve in the end. What we dare to do, or what we aim for.
Sociology is proactive. Or, as Bourdieu puts it, 'public opinion does not exist'. He has an excellent book with this title. Public opinion is formed in society, among other things, through the process of sociological surveys. Sociology is a dangerous tool. One cannot simply go in and do sociology. Sociology is like a drug or strong medicine. We have to be very careful with it. We have to be safe and ideologically correct.
I would also like to say that within the Tsargrad Institute we are planning to deal with the study of the fundamental differences between the elite and society as a whole. Or between state and society. They are two different macrocosms, they are different cosmos. Depending on whether or not one belongs to the ruling elite, one's positions, responses, opinions, meanings can be very different, even polar. The data we receive, depending on whether we address the elites or the masses, will be qualitatively different - up to an opposite picture. Today, in the West, this contradiction has reached catastrophic proportions: the elites think one thing and act on the basis of one thing, while the people, the masses, have exactly the opposite point of view. Sociology is the science that can identify, describe and make sense of this divide.
I am an advocate of a two-tier sociology. That is, one should address the collective consciousness of society (Durkheim) and the collective unconscious (Jung) at the same time. One case is when people express their opinion at the level of rational analysis and according to the norms of political correctness, and another case is what they consider in reality, what they feel, the conclusions they come to at the level of emotions, subconscious movements, intuitions, but at the same time they conceal and disguise it. If asked a direct question, people sometimes deny what they are convinced of. But there are methods - even quantifiable methods - that allow one to discover how the collective unconscious of a certain society is organised. Of course, this requires a high degree of flexibility.
Sociology must study people as such, in all their complexity. It must understand how people actually think. A two-tier sociology should pay attention to and analyse the dreams, the unconscious of our people. It will tell us a lot about everything.
Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with foreign colleagues who came to the Russophile Congress. They asked us: does your society realise how monstrous Western civilisation is? We answered: no, it is not aware of it at all. Does your society reject Western civilisation? Yes, completely. It is not aware of it, but it rejects it. To decipher it correctly, you need a finely tuned sociological instrument, adjusted to capture both.
Russian consciousness is contradictory, it is made of paradoxes. It often deceives itself and others. That is why Russian sociology must take into account the peculiarities of our people. Only then will it become better suited to our conditions.
Andrei Perla: Dear colleagues, we have 22 people attending the meeting from a distance. Therefore, with your permission, we will periodically give the floor to those who were unable to be here in person and then return to the round table. I will now give the floor to Alexey Zhivov, our war correspondent. He will then pass the floor to Inna Aleksandrovna Vetrenko. Please.
Alexey Zhivov: Yes. Good afternoon, dear colleagues. Can you hear me well?
Andrei Perla: Yes.
Alexey Zhivov: Very well. Greetings to everyone. Thank you for conducting this survey. It is very important to try to study social attitudes objectively, without having any illusions about what our society thinks. This is our way of discovering the minefields through which our troops will soon walk. We are not walking through these minefields. From what I heard, I literally wrote down some observations for myself. And later, I may be able to provide you with some valuable data, for example, from the liberated territories. It will take about seven minutes.
Andrei Perla: Excuse me for a second, please. Colleagues, as the Head of Delegation has just reminded us, we have a certain time limit. The limit for a speech is five to seven minutes. Thank you very much.
Alexei Zhivov: What I saw in your research. I saw two types of opposition appear. This is the general opposition to the authorities, this is the radical opposition, which in principle does not accept the Russian regime, and for them the special military operation is an additional reason for negative judgement. And in the last poll, the patriotic opposition emerged, which is divided with the loyalist side. So we have a clash between patriots and loyalists, which actually gives us a majority. And your last question divided patriots and loyalists. As you yourself said, in fact. The loyalists stand aside: yes, we will still support whatever the authorities decide. And the patriots, i.e. about 40 per cent of the respondents, ask to go on until the end.
Andrei Perla: 30.
Alexei Zhivov: 30, yes. So, objectively, from what I heard I could draw the following conclusions. Our society is still at a crossroads. The spiral of silence in it has not unwound to the necessary values. Barrett's proportion, 80/20, which would guarantee us the full consolidation of society before national tasks, is not respected. From this I conclude that Russian propaganda functions poorly. Russian propaganda does not reach certain audiences. And especially in those audiences that are the driving force of our society today. It is very important that the study was conducted specifically on the Internet; it is the Internet users who are now the driving force of our society. Consequently, I would suggest that the meanings and symbols that Russian propaganda is shaping are not currently entering the minds of the public in the way they should. In other words, there is obviously a wide field for intelligent, high-quality and deep propaganda work that will also involve, as you rightly said, war correspondents and other groups. In order to cover more social strata, more social groups, we need to reach a real 80/20, not assumed, but real. Then the whole of society will be fully involved.
So, who did not participate in the survey. Well, perhaps, of course, it is. Air Force Commander Teplinsky was not there. For whom there is a very warm and very reverent attitude in the army. And not only the airborne soldiers are concerned about him, but also the allied units. He is very popular and so is Surovikin. Exactly in the army.
From my experience in the territories last year, I was directly involved in the sociology of the camp and saw how the mood changed. I would like to say that in the beginning we had the same interesting proportion. Thirty per cent of the population of the new regions were openly pro-Russian, they fervently supported the annexation, they participated in public processes, risking their lives, I stress. Because even going to school there as a teacher, within the Russian legal framework, is already a risk of life. At the same time, 30 per cent of the population in the region where I was was neutral and ready to accept the Russian authorities without resistance, but they did not overtly support them. In other words, they were, let's say, ordinary people who would support any government. Exactly 30% were openly active opponents of Russia. These proportions gradually changed as the opponents of Russia moved away. Some of them simply kept quiet, went into hiding, and so on. But I observed this 30-30-30 also in the liberated territories. This is a very important point, also confirmed by other research.
Your research on the popularity and unpopularity of certain public figures is not only through society, but also through the army. And I will tell you something very interesting, which perhaps not everyone fully understands: 99% of the Russian Armed Forces are, colleagues, internet users, very, very active. They read all the telegram feeds, watch all the videos and so on. It is not an isolated environment, it is an environment of people looking for meaning just like us, analysing information, trying to understand for themselves. Because their work involves risking their lives. And every officer, every non-commissioned officer regularly, on a daily basis, tries to understand whether his or her potential death is justified by the objectives that Russia is pursuing. It is very, very important to understand that the army is exactly the same kind of Internet user, a very active Internet user and Telegram user. And depending on the kind of consensus that eventually emerges in society, in the Telegraph, in the propaganda, an officer will decide whether to take a bold step, whether to go on the assault or on the breakthrough, whether to flank a tank, to hit a specific target, a specific section of the front, or whether to take it easy. Because if there is a truce or another retreat in Izyum tomorrow, it is better to be careful. Life is more expensive, the flat, the mortgage, the children... You see, they are people like you and me. Yes, they do their duty. But they are just as sensitive to military and public propaganda, to society's feelings. Here, I think I will leave this thought as central. That Telegram is, by the way, where the vast majority of our troops, both mobilised and cadres, are. Both privates and junior, middle and perhaps even a certain role of senior officers. And they are in certain positions, according to your survey, exactly the same in approximate proportions according to the answers. Thank you.
Andrei Perla: Thank you, Andrew. That was very informative. So, with your permission, colleagues, in the order in which, then, your moderator received the messages about who wants to speak. Inna Aleksandrovna Vetrenko, Head of the Department of Social Technology at the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
Inna Vetrenko: I represent the Northwest Management Institute of the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, which is one of the largest branches of the Academy of Public Administration. Vladimir Shamakhov, the director of our Institute, is here with me. He, however, works remotely. Why am I interested in your research? Because we ourselves completed just a week ago, as part of a grant from the Russian Science Foundation, a field study on patriotism, which aims to determine the level of patriotic sentiment among different groups of Russians of various ages. But we did a telephone survey. We were the executors of the empirical phase in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region. The survey was entirely Russian, with a sample of 1,600 respondents from 45 regions of the Russian Federation. But despite the fact that we only finished the field a week ago, we have the first results. As I said, our survey was about patriotism. Since it is impossible to measure the level of patriotism in the country without attitudes towards SWO, some of the questions in our survey were about attitudes towards SWO. I will only mention some of the data, because the processing is still ongoing, the results are being coded and processed. Our study was in two phases, as required by the grant. The first phase in October 2022 and the second in February-March 2023. We found that in the second wave, in February and March, 56% of our respondents answered in the affirmative when asked directly whether they consider themselves patriots of their country. In October '22, 46.78% had answered in the affirmative to this question. The increase was significant. Of course, then came the marker questions through which we discovered, firstly, what is meant by patriotism. Secondly, we found out what this patriotic stance is made of, what is included in it and what is excluded from it. Approximately 92% of the respondents who declared themselves patriots said that they considered the most significant event of the last 15 years to be the incorporation of new but original Russian territories into the Russian Federation. This is therefore a direct and important assessment for them. Our telephone survey differs in its methodology of recruiting respondents from the one conducted by our colleagues in Tsargrad. Initially, I was asked about the recruitment mechanisms of the respondents in their online survey, but we decided that when we spoke we would ask questions. So I would like to ask my methodological colleagues who worked on the results and fieldwork of your survey how the respondents were recruited. We know that this is the most difficult thing in online surveys. Did you post on platforms, did you send e-mails? In short, it is very interesting how you sought out your sample of respondents. Anyway, I will conclude with regard to our research. Yes, after analysing the field a bit, my colleagues and I thought about what Alexander Gellievich was talking about. How can we create a sociology that takes everything into account? And that is as objective as possible? By the way, I would like to point out that the respondents of our survey get their main information content mainly from television, while those who get it from social media account for 38 per cent. This figure is more in line with VCIOM's figures. We also looked at VCIOM's previous research and found that our data shows that there has not been such a surge of patriotism in our country since 2000. Of course we will summarise all the results, publish them in scientific articles and present them in reports, as required by the terms of the grant. So for the time being, this is just news from the field, as they say. As far as the methodological aspect of the possibility of achieving objective sociology is concerned, I believe that life itself tells us this. We do not stray far from digital sociology, which is an excellent insight into the analysis of our citizens' digital footprints on the Internet. But, of course, no one erases live sociology. I don't know, will we see it as verification sociology or vice versa, digital as verification research for live sociological investigations? But it seems to me that by combining these two approaches, digital sociology and live sociology, both qualitative and quantitative, we can obtain more representative and more objective data. Thank you, colleagues, for your attention!
Andrei Perla: Thank you very much. I give the floor to Yegor Kholmogorov.
Yegor Kholmogorov: Colleagues, we are discussing a very interesting issue. And it actually strikes me, strangely enough, in a positive sense. Because your orientation, let's say, towards the Internet is really surprising. And such good numbers for our Internet audience, frankly, I did not expect.
The following is particularly interesting. Here I have calculated some of these small correlations. From the basic value of "What is your general attitude towards the special operation in Ukraine". Where it turns out that 53.2% have a positive attitude. And here, there are some surprising correlations. Of course, they may fall within statistical errors, but nonetheless. This means that some users differ in one way or another. Thus, it turns out, first of all, that membership is supported by even more people than Special Operations - 55.5%. This is an entirely surprising figure.
But the most surprising figure, which made me squint, is the attitude towards the prospect of an attack on Kiev - 50.8%. In other words, imagine, say, our general patriotic TV discourse, from which the subject of Kiev has long since disappeared. In this context, we have the tasks of Special Operation - whether to retain what is already occupied, or whether to agree, at least on certain terms, and so on.
And suddenly it turns out that almost the entire group of this patriotic consensus supports, if one can say so, the most radical solution to this military question. That is, precisely the march on Kiev, and nothing else. And in doing so, it is clear that it is more about the end of the Zelensky regime than the incorporation of Kiev into Russia. Because here we see what is already sad enough: only 20% of those who think Kiev should become Russian before the ceasefire. By the way, here is a big question to ask of our propaganda in general. Which systematically uses the expression 'Kiev regime'. That is, you see, in this way Kiev, the concept of Kiev, the image of Kiev as the mother of Russian cities, is systematically turned into a symbol of anti-Russianism, of this Ukrainian 'anti-Russia' and so on. Thus, it turns out that Odessa is more or less ours, Kherson is ours for objective reasons. Here, sadly, Kharkiv has always been a little less attention than Odessa. And here there is Kiev, which is a bit all over the place. And this, of course, can only be of concern.
Another of the key issues discussed is that of support for the different political leaders. Here, too, we can identify, it seems to me, a certain correlation. If, for example, Surovikin's support, as we see, is clearly correlated with this general patriotic consensus, 50 to 55 per cent, Sergey Kuzugetovich's support is lower. That is, the delta between Surovikin and Shoigu of 6% is clearly the delta of the patriots' critical attitude towards the performance of the Ministry of Defence, and apparently for the last year, and apparently for the last decade as well. And I fear that, after the shock of the last few months, the figures for the MoD are even less happy.
As for the answers to the question of whether or not they would favour an immediate ceasefire, according to which 44.3 would categorically not be in favour, while 34 would be strongly in favour and 21 would remain in the shadows, it seems to me that the question is obviously more complicated than that. That is, the simplest thing to say is that this 21% who refused to answer includes those who simply did not want to express their negative attitude. But, in reality, people have a slightly different understanding of the questions. We asked them whether they would support or change their attitude towards government policies. And the fact is that among a significant part of the Transkrainians, a significant part of the democratic forces, even if Russia signed a ceasefire with Ukraine, the attitude would not change. Therefore, here, where they "will not categorically support the government", they can be obstructed. And conversely, where they 'fully support', a number of loyalist patriots can be stitched up. So, let us say that it seems to me that further clarifying questions are needed for an unambiguous interpretation. What do you mean by 'support' and 'do not support'. Not supporting an agreement with Ukraine, or not supporting a government that I hate anyway. This is actually a matter of the figures received here, which are very interesting. And to me, again, it seems very thought-provoking. Because according to the Internet audience on the Kiev issue, we have a very good group, if I may say so - a consistent Russian jihadist.
But there are many other, perhaps very subjective, ways of looking at everything that is happening. Not long ago, literally a fortnight ago, I had a very difficult experience for my psyche, to be honest, like a two-hour immersion in our TickTock. And, frankly, I was astounded by what I saw. The last time I watched TikTok was about a year ago. And it was an absolutely Ukrainian platform. Where there were only two topics: the glory of Ukraine and Navalny. There was nothing else. It seemed that these people were boiling in a closed system created by Roskomnadzor, with access only via a VPN, and so on. So, it would seem that this social mould should take over everything. That is, there should be nothing but Ukrainian propaganda. And everything is vice versa. I mean, I, with a random sampling, I stress again that it was not a random sample, it was a completely random sample, an average user of TikTok, found there solid anti-Ukrainian, mocking, in relation to Ukraine - moderately patriotic, extremely patriotic. Expressions that these people with the letter 'x' are fed up with us, and so on. That is, everything but that Ukrainian and navalist propaganda concentrate that we saw a year, a year and a half ago. The question arises: either after the Roskomnadzor blockade, the money pumping this propaganda simply went away, and the usual market order set in, as they say. Or perhaps the youth audience, which is the main user of TikTok, has changed significantly over the course of this year. Who, seething in this environment of already quite active patriotic programmes, are also gradually beginning to align their, if one can say so, abstractly general patriotic views, according to this famous formula: Right or wrong, this is my country. I mean we live here, we didn't go anywhere, so our army is our army and their army is their army. Our country is our country and their country is their country. If we take into account the fact that, in general, until then the perception was rather perverse, you know, in the spirit of that famous image turned upside down, our cursed country, their shining motherland. And then we can build a whole system of such oppositions, which are typical of our Emerdyakovian intelligentsia. It can be said that at the level of this young mass of youth, the purification of consciousness from 'Kadyakovism' is gradually taking place. And I hope we will continue to work in this direction. Thank you.
Andrei Perla: Thank you very much, Yegor. I think it is appropriate to address all subsequent speakers with the request that they take into account in their messages what was said before them. We are now joined at a distance by Yuriy Podolyaka, a well-known military correspondent and blogger.
Yuri Podolyaka: Yes, thank you. Only I am not a military correspondent, I am a blogger, you cannot call me a military correspondent. Yes, we saw very good figures in the survey. I studied the survey material in advance and, in my opinion, not everything is as unambiguous as we see in the sociological data presented.
Unfortunately, the entire information machine of the West is working against us. But its failures are obvious and we have already received some positive changes in consciousness. If we can unite our efforts and coordinate our actions, we will solve the most important problem in winning the information war. Here, just judge the war correspondents. They feel they are in competition with each other. That is, they are not comrades-in-arms, but competitors. I communicate with them, separately with one, with another, with the third. And it is obvious that a year of war has passed and they still see themselves as competitors. This has to be eradicated somehow, we have to find the platforms that unite the positions. And, in the end, we must realise that this is our common war, for our common Victory. Everything else is secondary, and all other arguments can be put aside for now and we can figure out how to use this victory for the development of our country after the victory. This is the most important point.
The second most important point is that the current situation has shown once again that the information war is a crucial component of the actual war. If you carefully follow the writings of our ancestors, including those who lived in antiquity, the suppression of information has always been a crucial component of war. Back then, there were only a few tools, but today, information warfare is increasingly a determining factor in victory or defeat.
The Kiev regime knows this too. And it often sacrifices both the military and political components in the name of information. My own internal research shows that their resilience is not even primarily due to Western military aid, without which they would obviously fail, but to the fact that they still control their territory in terms of information. And the majority of the Ukrainian population, in one way or another, either because they have been deceived or because they truly hate them, still desire victory for this country and many are still willing to sacrifice something in the name of this victory.
Although there has been a positive trend since last autumn, the number of people who are no longer willing to sacrifice anything for this regime is growing very rapidly. I hope that unless something radically changes, this radical change will not only not end in '23, but will have very serious consequences for the regime. I don't know whether Zelensky will ultimately stay alive or not, that is a second question. However, there is already a rift. And we have to work on that as well.
Therefore, the most important thing in the information war is not only to criticise and work with the population we are liberating, but also to make people understand our ideological concept: what we are fighting for, what the war is about. I am communicating with the soldiers. And even today, by the way, many soldiers ask me a question: what are we fighting for? It means that a soldier who has been at war for many months - and I was talking to a soldier under contract - does not know what he is fighting for. The political work here, unfortunately, is very, very weak, with the exception of a few units, first of all volunteers, everything is normal there.
By the way, Prigozhin himself emphasised the other day that political work in the army is the most important thing. Because a politically motivated soldier is much more stable in defence, and also much more courageous and cunning during an attack. And this has its effect, as has been confirmed many times in the SSOs. I have tried several times to break through the wall of our Ministry of Defence. Unfortunately, I was not listened to. They considered it politically incorrect. However, there was a simple idea. We should get a dozen military bloggers together and, if once a month we engaged in political education with the same units and took the topics of political education to a much higher level, while our soldiers are rocking the boat, within six months we would already see an impressive difference in the motivation and combat effectiveness of the personnel. After talking to soldiers for 20-30 minutes on several occasions, you find moments in the conversation that allow a soldier to understand what we are fighting for and why this bastard needs to be killed.
And going back to the issue of Kiev, and the fact that Russian society increasingly understands that the war will not end until we have taken Kiev, and I believe not only Kiev, but until we have reached the Polish border in general, regardless of where it will actually be then, most likely it will be a new border. This very important idea must first be communicated to the army and to society as a whole. In this way we will solve the problem of associative thinking in our society: whether Kiev is a Russian city or still the capital of an enemy regime. This must be proven. For many months I have been working in this direction, explaining that this war is a civil war. A great civil war in the former Soviet Union.
But to explain that it is a civil war of a divided people, we need a common ideological concept, which we must offer. And in this way we solve all the problems at once. Because the main problem at the end of the war is the population that will come under our control. If they convince themselves that they are a different people, with different moral values, representatives of a different ethnic group in general, to use Gumilev's terminology, then we will have a complex set of problems for decades to come. If these people, absolutely the same, are convinced that they lost during the civil war, the reintegration process will be much easier. This is also a very important point. It is very important that everyone everywhere emphasises the civil principle of this war. In this way, the resolution of internal problems, the breakdown of the stability of the AFU and the confidence of the population will be much faster. Because it will be much easier to accept another power, which is its own power, but with a different ideological concept. This is the point I consider most important. I thank you for your attention. If there are any questions, I am ready to answer them.
Andrei Perla: Thank you very much, Yuriy Ivanovich. Colleagues, with your permission, we will give the floor to Vladimir Dobrenkov. And then we will continue.
Vladimir Dobrenkov: I want to say that my attitude towards this survey is generally very positive. It gives a very clear picture of the position of our people on special operations and other private issues. I will ask some questions to make sure that the results are representative, so that we can have confidence in them.
Dear colleagues, I think I will express my views on an issue that is also relevant to this study. SMO is not a special military operation in its own right. It must be seen in the context of general global geopolitical processes. It expresses and reflects the great confrontation between the collective West, the United States and the East. In particular, the confrontation between the United States and Russia. In this sense, it seems to me that the awareness of everyone's involvement in world events is very important for the growth of one's self-awareness. Because often ordinary people think that this special operation does not affect them in any way. You see, nothing happens in the world that does not affect every person. Here, the Second World War, fascism. It was a worldwide phenomenon, affecting practically every family, on every continent of the world. It is the same here. Perhaps it is trite to say it, but we are not at war with the Ukrainian people. On the contrary, we are liberating the Ukrainian people from the Nazis, who came to Ukraine to dominate it and impose their views on all Ukrainian citizens. But the process of nazification in Ukraine has gone a long way. And that is why SMO is very difficult to approve of.
I, for example, disagree when it comes to significant differences between the Nazis of Azov and ordinary Ukrainian soldiers. Frankly, they are not different at all. There is already data and information in the West that ordinary Ukrainian soldiers are already so integrated into the Nazi ideology that there is no difference. That is why I was not entirely positive about the actions of our authorities when they tried to differentiate between the different Ukrainian military units in the initial phase of the military operation. And moreover to demonstrate, I would say, 'superhumanism', in quotes. When the Luhansk hospital was full of Azovs, ordinary people could not use the hospitals. And there was a certain negative attitude towards it. It is important to keep this in mind. Because we are fighting now, Russia is not fighting with Ukraine, again. We are fighting against a phenomenon like fascism, which has been reborn in Europe. It is led not only by individual European countries, but also by the United States of America. It is an absolute evil. An absolute evil, which cannot exist on earth. It must be destroyed in the full sense of the word. And if we, Russia, don't do it, if other countries don't realise that we have to unite and bring down this evil, it will be bad for everyone, for the whole world.
I want to say that Russia's attitude towards this military operation has changed over the year, I think. I speak independently of this study, but on the basis of my observations. And based on my analysis of what was happening in Russia. Do you know what disturbed our population and caused negative reactions to our authorities, politicians, officials and so on? Well, indecision. Indecision in everything. People are waiting for things to move forward. We walked in one place for a year. One year. I cannot agree. You can cite objective data: there were no uniforms, no military equipment and so on. But that affects people's attitudes. Every victory of our troops is a great contribution to changing the consciousness of every Russian citizen. It is more than just verbal propaganda. We only need Victory. Russia needs only victory. And no compromise, no truce. Where does this word 'truce' come from, why are we discussing this issue? What truce? The President said that we have two goals: denazification and demilitarisation. And that these goals will be achieved. The task of denazification can only be completed when fascism in Ukraine is destroyed. And the entire territory of Ukraine must unite with Russia. These are ancestral Russian lands. And they give us the idea: let us sit at the table, let us divide Ukraine. Who gave you permission to divide Russian lands? To leave them to Western Europe or the Americans? Who gave you permission to talk about it? So, in my opinion, we need more determination. I, for one, very much hope in the wisdom of our senior leaders and I believe in the strength and art of warfare of our armed forces that there will eventually be a fundamental change. And this fundamental change must take place as soon as possible. Why do I speak of firmness? Because we must not procrastinate. Any procrastination plays a negative role towards Russia. It plays in favour of the other side, it does more good for them, you know. So you have to be firm.
And if anyone doubts that we will win, if there is talk of a truce, we will betray the goals for which this operation was started. The people will not forgive that. They will consider it a betrayal by those who are trying to convince us: let's have a truce, let's negotiate. But who are we talking to? With the paranoids? With Biden? This is a clinical case, Biden, do you know that? And all of Europe, the political elite. They're lunatics, in the full sense of the word. Crazy lunatics. And do we want to talk to them about anything? After how many victims there were in the Donbas?! How many victims are there now, during the military operation?! What negotiations? Here, I think, is my criterion: anyone who talks about a ceasefire and negotiations is our enemy. A traitor to Russian interests. Russia only needs to win. There is, in fact, a war going on right now. More than 50 countries, the collective West and the US are against us. And other countries have joined us. So Russia is at war against a huge mass of fascist countries. It is at war alone, you see. Its mission is divine, in my opinion, it has a mission. It brings liberation from fascism to the whole world. And of course the sacrifices our military makes on the fronts are not useless or purposeless if we achieve our goals.
I am an analyst by nature. Any sociological study requires analysis. And there are different analysts and different approaches to analysing research results. In this case, I have already expressed a positive attitude towards this research. But it seems to me that one should go further. Every person, every citizen should think, and even more so scientists, politicians, should think in broad categories. Figuratively speaking, those who want to understand events must like to rise above the Earth, towards the sky, and look down. And we are still using notions, those of the kitchen, you know? We are landing. And you have to think on a large scale, you know.
And so I analysed what is happening now. If we take the context of the world processes, their main trend, first of all, of course, the global crisis of humanity, of civilisation is obvious. Human civilisation has lost the historical meaning of its development. There are no goals. Secretary of State Blinken said that we are afraid of losing hegemony, because we don't know what our goals will be. And we know what their goals are: money and power. Undivided power over everyone. They have no other goals. Pitirim Sorokin once said that when there are global contradictions worldwide, and this is exactly the case with our current confrontation with the United States and Europe, it is a conflict of values, a confrontation. They have some values, we have others. What kind of negotiations? We can't understand each other, there is no trust, you see? And there can't be. Moreover, the Americans constantly use lies, slander, double standards in politics. This is what is now ingrained in US foreign policy. Both the West and the United States of America and Russia - we are on different planes. In principle, we cannot agree. And there is no need to impose negotiations on us. Don't sit down and negotiate. They will betray us, they will deceive us, and so it will be. And I repeat: only Victory, only Victory, there can be nothing else. No reconciliation, no discussion. And when these questions arise in the media space, when they give us these theses about a truce, it is not the patriots who give us this idea - to discuss a truce, what is our attitude. But we have no attitude, there can be no truce. And if we agree, there have been these talks, to divide Ukraine and so on, then we will be left with a small enclave of fascist Ukraine, and after a year, this enclave will arm itself - and go back to Russia. We should go all the way. I would go all the way to the English Channel. Because I don't think there can be a solution to the problem of fascism as long as the US is the hegemon. They must be annihilated at the root. And what's more, I tell you: they will. Or they will collapse from within. Because we have to look at this against the backdrop of the global crisis of capitalism that is going on right now. Marx's prophecy is being fulfilled. Capitalism has no future and is dying. For 500 years, more than 500 years, capitalism has existed. Marx predicted the end of capitalism many years ago. But it is a slow process, historically, you know that.
So I repeat. The information you presented in the SSO study is very good. They show that a large part of our population has the right attitude and understanding of the situation. And if we win, Kiev will become a Russian city, it won't go anywhere. And the people who were deceived there, whose consciousness has already been reconstructed by the Nazis, will become our people. It was Russia, the original Russian land. There is no difference between us and the Ukrainians. There is no difference between the Russian population in Ukraine and us. It is our united nation, our ethnos. So, we can thank you for your study, which sheds light on these events that are taking place in our country.
I would also like to say one more thing. You remember when the operation started and we started negotiations with Ukraine. I was generally furious. We had just launched an operation, raised the issue of denazification - and already we were at the negotiating table. This is idiocy. It is a betrayal, a natural betrayal. And it comes from the upper echelons of power, from those liberals that we have not yet brought out of the power structures. Liberalism has been around for 30 years. What should we do? We should expel every liberal from every power structure. And remake their minds, if they are remade.
But I would also be tougher on traitors who, in my opinion, go abroad. There can be no excuses. I know that people want to live in peace, they do not want to be mobilised, they do not want to be preserved. Well, how can it be otherwise now? You live in your homeland. How many famous people, especially Bohemians, have been rewarded by the state? Pugacheva. She already has, I think, a trunk full of orders, the highest honours from the Motherland. She has betrayed and is making a fool of herself, so to speak. And there are many people like her. I think there has to be a consistent policy, a tough policy. In this sense, the Bolshevik position: you have to fight your enemies. You must not believe them, forget them. An enemy is an enemy. It will not change. Read the Bible, read Solomon's Proverbs, as he says. If he is an enemy, he will be an enemy till the end. He will not change. Neither you nor he. Besides, as they say in the Caucasus, you took out your sword and brandished it.
Many things will change when we celebrate our victory. I am aware, of course, that I am now speaking as a citizen. And the leadership of our country and the Armed Forces have a real problem: there are not enough weapons and so on. But it seems to me that we have to make every sacrifice to make sure that our military is armed and successful. And that the two tasks set by the President of our country - denazification and demilitarisation - are completed. This is the only way out of the stalemate for Russia. The confrontation is now in a stalemate. The Americans do not want to give up their hegemony. But we do not want to surrender to them either. What is the way out? Only war. And I say this frankly: there will definitely be a big war. Whether it is in nuclear form or not, but there will be. Do you know why? It must be so, with blood and suffering, to wash, to purify the souls of all those people who are now deluded. They think it will not affect them. It will touch every person. It will touch, and this pain and suffering will come to every family. So we have to think and work individually. I have many such conversations with students. And it's not a large number: three, four, five people. And we have these conversations. And I see how they wake up, their consciousness. Well, I had a lot of thoughts, I wanted to do a report. But I think I won't finish it.
Andrei Perla: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you.
Vladimir Dobrenkov: I would still like to wish the Russophile Congress, which was a very important event, to continue to increase Russia's prestige. But I repeat: a victory will do more than the Russophile Congress in the world. After a victory, attitudes towards Russia will immediately change. Europe will collapse, there will be no more EU. There they will start to clash, to solve each other. And they will also start dealing with the US. So victory and denazification will change the whole situation in the world. And we must propagandise and fight to convince everyone of this. Only Victory! And what's more: Russia is a God-bearing country. And I believe that God is on our side. And the wisdom of our leaders and God's help will help us achieve what we have planned. Thank you.
Andrei Perla: Thank you, Vladimir Ivanovich.
Konstantin Malofeev: Thank you very much, Vladimir Ivanovich. As I have to leave, I leave the chairmanship to Alexander Gelievich. I wanted to say a few words after you. You set an example of what a sociologist should be. And to go back to what Alexander Gellievich said, that there is no such thing as objective sociology, well, that's bullshit. There is no such thing as objective humanities. There is no such thing as an objective historian, not even one, there is no such thing as an objective sociologist, there is no such thing as an objective jurist. Even though jurisprudence, me being a doctor of law, I still maintain that it is a very specific science, because it is a profession.
But this is about the attitude towards the events you speak of, so emotionally, really, as a patriot, I would like to continue. And to say that the authorities, in this case I am mainly referring to the presidential administration, when they use data obtained from polls or focus groups as a kind of mantra to make certain domestic and even foreign policy decisions, is a radically wrong practice. A fundamentally wrong practice. After all, what is the result? Quite rightly, by the way, our war correspondent also drew attention to this fact, that 30 per cent of our population is something like the opposition, those who are against the war, another 30 per cent are loyalists and another 30 per cent, let's say, are patriots, for the war to be fought to the end.
Look what happens. If we talk about a 'lousy peace', as we call this truce, it turns out that all this opposition becomes loyalists. And what actually happens? What happens is that it is impossible to make domestic policy based on the technocratic practice of measuring the attitude of people in society towards any decision. It is not right. We must have a mission for the state. And if the state has a mission, then it is measured in relation to this idea, this ideology and this mission. And regardless of what one thinks, nobody cares about the workplace, respectively. And even sociology, as a tool here, has to work in terms of whether or not it is useful for the state, for its mission, for its existence in general. And when we have a war and we measure and compare the patriotic opposition, which does not accept the 'dirty peace', with the liberal opposition, which is now against its country, well, it is a kind of phantasmagoria, it is a kind of theatre of the absurd! And we say: this opposition and this opposition. It is not an opposition. The patriotic opposition is Russia. You are the opposition, if you go to the other side. You cannot call it opposition. Because these people are ready to answer for their words with death. And you, liberal opposition or so-called loyalists, are you ready to answer with life? No. Then what are we talking about? Why are we putting all this on the same page, even technologically? This is a fundamentally flawed system of government in general, based on the evaluation of these sociological polls and focus groups. This is the fact that our polls show quite clearly, and we all say the same thing. By the way, they also say the same thing. You know: the latest figures are 25%, they say they will not accept the 'dirty world'. These are the figures that VCIOM shows internally, they are known to the Presidential Administration. There is not such a big difference. We have 30 per cent, they have 25. Before it was 15 and they would not accept it, now it is 25. Well, what difference does it make? What difference does it make, 25 or 30? But they interpret this 25 differently. The question of interpretation plays a fundamental role.
It is therefore very important to note that the creation of the Tsargrad Institute is due to the need for an independent centre of patriotic thought. Because we are at war. And being at war, we are obliged, from the point of view of... the ugly word 'deep state', because this should probably be a separate seminar, on what the 'deep state' is in Russia. There are many theories. I personally believe that our 'deep state' is, unfortunately, extremely liberal. Because if in France, in America, the Freemasons are the founders of the Deep State, or for example the Communist Party or the Bolshevik Party in the Soviet Union are the Deep State, then our Deep State is of course the liberals. Who, consequently, did the coup in '91 and came to power. Certainly not us conservatives. That's why we act like the 'Deep State' here. We are the 'Deep State'. Well, without going outside this topic, which is very interesting and to which a separate seminar should probably be devoted, we should say that the Russian people have their goals, their mission. And this war is sacred to us. We have not had such a war for 80 years. It is not just another event of domestic or foreign policy. It is a question of the survival of the state and of us as a people. So, of course, we cannot interpret these figures in any other way than by saying that those who want to fight until the end of the war are patriots and their numbers should grow. Your survey shows that their numbers are also growing, thank God. And we should not have 50-55 people here in half a year, but 60-65, or better 70. We must have fewer people who dare to say they are not in favour at all. It is clear that this requires movement on the part of the state, on the part of propaganda, there should be an explanation from the Ministry of Defence that people do not die in vain, and that the ammunition should come accordingly. All this is clear.
But the most important thing is that it is not a question of objective, net, dry, dead figures. It is people's attitude towards their fate. Whether they associate it with the state or not. Those who want a ceasefire at any cost do not want an independent, sovereign, strong and great Russia. Because if you extend their logic to the end, what will happen after the ceasefire? Well, if a person understands at least a little, it is clear that the next step is collapse. This means that the man accepts, if only they don't take him, his relatives in the army today. So that now the money frozen in the West is returned. Or that some comfort will now return. Or that the job he lost is in a Western company, or connected to it. He is not interested in anything but his own well-being. This is a potential refugee. Or a traitor, depending on the interpretation. And so these people are not just those - those who are against it. This is very important, I agree with you. This is a kind of interpretation, mine, which is coloured, of course, by what I profess to be the way I think. I just wanted to say that an important, very important aspect of our research, our meeting and our subsequent meetings is that we need to form a centre of thought, a Russian Deep State thought, which is independent of the current momentary political situation. Because we do not have the right to play with numbers and treat them only as a tool for momentary political decisions, quotes and statements. This is too serious. It is a war. And the attitude towards war is, in fact, an attitude towards one's own future.
Vladimir Dobrenkov. I would like to say one more thing. I have just published a book entitled 'War and Security in Russia in the 21st Century'. But in reality it is aimed at ensuring the security of Russia. But Russia's security cannot be guaranteed by military operations alone. Because Russia's national security is guaranteed by a winning struggle within our society. We have and continue to have a liberal ideology. Yeltsin abolished the article on ideology in the Constitution. But there was and is a liberal ideology, it is not articulated, but it exists. So we have to think about how to define Russia's development strategy. And another thing I would like to say. Konstantin Valeryevich, Russia is a capitalist country. I have been thinking and rethinking and partly I will tell you. We are talking about a new world order, a new world order. Well, we will establish it. But it will happen within the framework of the capitalist world system. Capitalism inexorably provokes conflicts, contradictions. That means there will be wars and clashes. Therefore, if we talk about ensuring Russia's national security, we must seriously address our internal problems. We must determine our development strategy for the future. What kind of ideology we should have. There is a big debate about this. I have a publication on this as well. But we need to discuss it and make suggestions on the way forward. For example, I like China. Its leader has proposed a new model for restructuring the world based on socialist principles. In this sense, China is ahead of everyone. They have their own ideology. They have a goal: to build a new society. We criticised communism, considering it an unrealistic society. You have to understand, as a philosopher, that there are regulative ideas that cannot be implemented in any way. For example, the ideas of utopians. They help society to develop. And even though they will never be implemented. But society will consolidate.
Andrei Perla. Dear colleagues, despite the serious lack of time, we are very grateful to Vladimir Ivanovich for his informative, long and serious presentation. I would like to name those who wish to speak: Oleg Borisovich Nemensky, Denis Valeryevich Pezhemsky and Nikita Igorevich Iziumov. Is anyone else interested? Then, with your permission, I will give the floor to Nikita Izyumov remotely and then we will return to the round table.
Nikita Iziumov. Being in charge of the youth wing of our organisation as coordinator of the academic fraternity, I was very interested in the distribution of responses by age in this study. Unfortunately, what Konstantin Valerievich said was the division of respondents into 55 per cent patriotic and 30 per cent, so to speak, non-patriotic, has a clear age gradation within it.
Despite the fact that the survey was conducted entirely on the Internet, that is, it would seem that young people should be mainly represented here, but it is in the patriotic segment of the survey that people over 40 years of age prevail. According to some answers, there are people over 60. While those who oppose: against Special Operation, for the conclusion of a ceasefire at any cost, against the accession of new regions to Russia - are mostly in the 18-40 age group. Overall, therefore, we are witnessing a huge failure of our state in terms of youth policy. In other words, youth policy in Russia, particularly in a patriotic direction, does not work at all. Despite the abundance of state programmes and patriotic youth movements, we can see that the results of objective opinion polls show that a significant number of young people take unpatriotic positions.
And, overall, this figure is in line with what we see in the regions, when we work to establish branches of the Brotherhood of Academics in various higher education institutions across the country: in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Voronezh, and others. Novosibirsk, among others. Especially here we see significant opposition from, so to speak, the liberal student milieu. And also from the liberal academic community of professors, and so on. I would like to draw attention to this.
Because we need this study not only to understand that a large part of our society supports the Special Operation. But also to see the threats that exist. And here, of course, the main threat is that our young people, for the most part, have an unpatriotic attitude. Not only young people, but also people of an older age. They are 30 years old, 35 years old, 25 years old. An economically active population. Consequently, we have to change our approach in terms of youth policies. And they have to be radically changed. We see that there are young people with a patriotic mentality and we are trying to work with them. But we see that it meets with resistance at the state level. Because our state, for some reason that has occurred so far, sees a danger in patriots. It needs loyalists, to put it crudely. The state does not really need patriots, any more than, say, it needs liberals. Above all, it does not need young people. This is a kind of paradox, but in practice it emerges very clearly, very consistently, we can see it. In other words, the patriotic initiative from below arouses suspicion. Patriotic initiative from below among young people is even more suspicious. And, in fact, we have to overcome this every time, in every new region. Even though we seem to have as anti-state and unpatriotic a youth environment as possible here.
This is my main conclusion that I wanted to announce. Because this gradation can be seen very clearly in the study. That is, those who are disposed to patriotism are mainly the older generation. The older the age, the more patriotic the respondents feel. And vice versa, the younger generation, the respondents between the ages of 18 and 25, are the ones who respond unpatriotically. Our youth policy therefore needs to be taken into consideration and rethought as much as possible. I hope that these data will be brought to the Presidential Administration so that all youth initiatives will be reviewed. Colleagues, that is all, thank you for your attention.
Andrei Perla. Thank you very much. I give the floor to Oleg Nemensky, researcher at the Institute of Slavic Studies.
Oleg Nemensky. Thank you. Gentlemen, I too have a very sad impression of this survey and its results. I cannot agree with the joy I have heard several times today. Thanks to Nikita Iziumov, who has drawn very accurate conclusions about the age cut, I think they are alarming. I would like to draw attention to the gender cut-off of respondents. It is really disastrous. Look, in all the responses expressing support for SMO or specific aspects of it, two-thirds are female voices and only one-third are male. In all responses expressing opposition to SMO, opposition to other aspects of SMO, two-thirds are male and one-third are female.
In principle, the fact that women are more inclined, so to speak, to support military operations is typical of any country. I remember the polls in America on support for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Again, the picture was the same: women were much more supportive of these military operations than men. But even there, the majority was in favour. But the situation here is not good. The majority of men are against it. And I believe that in military matters the voice of men is of paramount importance. Because it is men who go to war. Here it turns out that the majority of men are clearly against military operation and action. And this is a very sad result. Overall, it turns out that over 50%, a little over 50%, of those surveyed support the USO. Well, gentlemen, this is exactly at the expense of the women's vote. Well, this is - this needs to be discussed, this is a hell of a situation.
And the problem here, I think, is not propaganda. Propaganda is a way, a system to make clear to the public the explanatory models chosen by the state for its actions, its motivations. But here the state has not chosen these meanings so far. The SMO narrative has not been formulated. What the war is fought over. Surovikin was appointed and in his first interview he said: 'Our goal is an independent and friendly Ukraine'. In my opinion, this is not the motivation to get out of the trenches. So we should not blame the men. And we should take this survey as a wake-up call that the chosen technology is not working. The meaning of Special Operation is deliberately not formulated openly, or is only formulated in denialist terms, such as denazification, and so on. Thus there is no criterion for determining its success. But this technology has a very strong negative effect, as it does not motivate society to take military action. To support what is happening. And presumably until the state makes up its mind about the meaning and does not bring such notions as "Russian spring", "Novorossiya", "unity of the Russian world", "unification of the Russian people", "reunification of Russian lands" and so on, until all these notions are brought back into the personal discourse of Russians - the results will be like this, they will be even worse. Thank you.
Alexander Dugin. I think you have touched on a very important topic. It is about the war plan. I propose that in the future we will discuss it in more detail in the sociological and perhaps also the political context of our Institute's work.
This topic is far from obvious. Once upon a time, at the sociology department of Moscow State University, we conducted a study using Yves Durand's methodology of the 'imaginary gender' or 'gender imager' (J.Durand). We had to find out in a subtle way who people imagine themselves to be. And here is the interesting thing. It turned out that the anatomical gender of the interviewees does not always correspond to their imaginary gender. In text AT.9, the respondents had to represent a price with a series of regular, randomly correlated figures. It was thus discovered that there were just as many heroes among the women as among the men. Basically, at an unconscious level, many women see themselves as active, masculine, heroic figures rather than as kind, peaceful and caring mothers. In contrast, about half of men, in terms of their imaginary gender, have a structure usually thought of as feminine psychology: they are cowardly, prefer comfort and continuity, and gravitate towards shelter. Thus, a certain gap can be established between a person's anatomical features and their unconscious psychological orientations.
Perhaps it is on this that liberals build their gender politics, taking advantage of this factor to give it excessive, aggressive and purely perverse proportions.
The topic you mention is very important. Yes, it is undeniable that there is a feminisation of Russian men. Historically, I think, especially in the last 100 years, Russian men have lost many of their purely masculine qualities. This is what we see in this survey. Russian women are now more masculine, more human, more responsible than men. This is a very serious element. In Soviet times and especially in the late Soviet period, there was a systematic suppression of initiative, an imperceptible sociological castration of Russian society. Men were told that if you had a position of your own, if you were virile, you were a dangerous element and had to be confined and even treated. Since the 1990s, Soviet feminisation has translated into liberalism, with a proliferation of non-traditional orientations among men and a real gender reassignment. At some point, the ruling elites registered and partly facilitated this process.
It is necessary to raise the question of the feminisation of Russian men and the mutation of their imaginary gender. This task should be tackled and investigated seriously, drawing on the arsenal of sociology, anthropology and psychology.
War is a man's business and sometimes they do not want to make it. If they don't want to do it, it means they are no longer men. The very attitude of 'no to war' is suspicious of the male sex, because it is natural to defend one's homeland. And if it is not natural, we are facing a very deep process of degeneration, which you rightly pointed out.
I think sociological studies should pay special attention to this. It would be good to find out to what extent Russian men are still men and to what extent they are no longer. There must be special, flexible and subtle criteria, special markers. If we dig, we will find many interesting and important things.
At one point it occurred to me that the beginning of a military operation is remotely reminiscent of a hysterical crisis. That is, first we do something and then we think about what we are doing. First there is a sudden collapse, a blow, we do something irreparable, and then immediately comes remorse: what have I done? This is more a female pattern. First there is a scandal, a divorce and then - oh, no, let's make up. Besides, you don't understand what I've done. You break a plate, shake a frying pan, cross a border... And then immediately we make up. That's not manly behaviour at all. You start a war, you win it
When a man does something, he starts something, then that's it: he becomes hostage to his decision, his will, his honour. In our case, the Special Military Operation, especially in the beginning, had hysteroid-feminist characteristics.
Of course, it was not women who started this war, but men. But the style of conducting this war and especially the awareness of it on the part of a section of the ruling elite has many hysterical traits. And this, incidentally, sometimes contrasts with the heroic, courageous and truly responsible behaviour of our women.
There is a news channel called 'The Strong Mothers of the Donbas'. Reading it, one is amazed at the responsible, balanced, manly, reasonable and heroic behaviour of our women gathered there, actively and effectively supporting the Special Military Operation. It is very interesting and, at the same time, very disturbing.
If I were a Russian man, I would think twice. The situation is alarming. Russian men are being sexually abducted. Until the SMO, there was an atmosphere in society where the Russian man is known to be politically incorrect in some way. He is forced to repent and curb his masculine expressions. This is why the elites treat patriotism and patriotic initiatives with such distrust. The problem is not with women, but with those men who are not men. At the same time, they do not become women, they stop being men. When they stop being men, they do not turn into women, but into freaks, into monsters. A feminised man has nothing to do with a woman. It is the result of degeneration.
Andrei Perla. Thank you, Alexander Gellievich. As always, it is much more instructive than the rest. Denis Pezhemsky, director of the Palaeontological Research Centre.
Denis Pezhemsky. Thank you, colleagues. I cannot help but respond to what Dugin said earlier about the feminisation of men. I have been thinking about this issue for many years, and material is already being collected. There are objective, very profound reasons, and the process has been going on for at least a hundred years. It started with the co-education of boys and girls in higher and secondary education. Because the female role model is always simpler and human nature always follows a simpler modus vivendi.
The second time this fracture occurred was when, during the Great Patriotic War and immediately afterwards, the leadership of our country was entrusted to women, for obvious reasons.
The last, overall, important factor of civilisation, on a planetary scale, is the general infantilisation of the civilised world. And not only in the West. In general, I work a lot in traditional societies, far from civilisation, such as India and so on. There these processes are not taking place. Everything is fine there. Where traditional ways of life are preserved, everything is fine. All is well with social roles, because they are related to gender.
Only in so-called civilised societies, of course primarily Western ones, is there mass infantilisation, one element of which is the feminisation of men. Of course, I support Alexander Golubevich in saying that we have to address this issue at the Tsargrad Institute and involve it very, very closely. Because it is closely related to everything Oleg Borisovich said. Let me reduce my speech at the expense of what the President said. Because I agree with everything, completely.
I will now move on to what we actually got as a result of the sociological investigation. First of all, in terms of methodology. It is obvious that very important results have been obtained and we have already started to discuss them. But from my point of view, they are not yet suitable for concrete work with society. This is, of course, the first experience, which is very important. And here are the methodological issues, those raised by Vladimir Ivanovich, those that Inna Aleksandrovna spoke about, and they are the fundamental ones.
We won't be able to use the results of these polls as a weapon, as a tool to work in the country, if we don't solve the methodological part. Andrey Naumovich suggested moving the issue to the margins. Since this is not a public hearing, but a scientific seminar, I hope they will continue, not behind the scenes, but at this table. Excuse me, but I disagree with you, Andrey Naumovich. Well, at the end, very hastily, interrupting myself, I will try to outline some aspects of this position, at this table and not in the lobby.
Of course, Internet research has its obvious advantages. There are many. But the main one is the secret vote. That is, a person is not afraid to answer even if they are asked very pointed questions, they are not afraid of consequences for themselves. This instrument is very, very effective. But it has visible disadvantages. It is the impossibility of controlling the experiment. The impossibility of testing and verifying the result. I don't think a methodological change should be made. Because otherwise the results of two or more investigations will not be comparable. We need dynamics and it is important to observe this aspect of comparability. Therefore, the chosen methodological model should probably be retained, but it should be substantially refined.
First of all, in terms of numbers. I have worked with big data all my life, in biological anthropology, working with mathematical statistics, probability theory. And I understand that 951 people, as big as the Internet community is, is not a representative sample. We can't do anything with this data yet. It is very small. Also, the sampling theory suggests that we should know the volume of the general population, but we don't know - this goes back to the question asked by Inna Alexandrovna - we don't know the volume of this general population because we don't know what kind of focus groups were involved. So, Andrei Naumovich, there is no need to operate and say that VCIOM, for example, has approximate numbers like this. I stopped looking at VCIOM data a long time ago, about 15 years ago. Because it is a complete fabrication. In general, the samples they show are categorically inadequate.
So, if we get serious and set up our own research centre, as Konstantin Valeryevich just said, we should certainly not be guided by these bad examples, that's for sure. It is remarkable that concepts such as gender, age, wealth and education were included in the survey. This allows us to start the analysis in a wonderful way, despite the small sample size, to dissect it, so to speak. But of course there are several aspects to be added. One of these is easy to do, here, by filling in the questionnaire. It is about a profession, a professional affiliation. Because education is good, a person can have two or three higher degrees and work in the market, we know that. And be a very good Internet user, a Russian Internet user. So, actually, this set: gender, age, education, profession - this is in our biological and anthropological studies, I know, and in social anthropological studies, these are the main 'whales', so to speak, on which all this research is based.
The next aspect, which is very important and which splits into two a bit here, is geography. I do not know whether in the methodology you have applied this aspect is controllable or not. But one aspect is regional affiliation. It is important that the 951 respondents who answered this question, where they come from, where they live, what reality they encounter every day. Local geography is very important. And I think if the Internet survey is conducted using the telephone - where is the telephone they told you about? Is it by any chance in Georgia? Isn't this 30 per cent from Kazakhstan? We don't know, you see. Maybe it is not a telephone, but a personal computer. If we know it, good. If we know it, very good. But the first aspect I mentioned, in terms of geography, is crucial. Because the country is very heterogeneous geographically. And these five 'whales' - gender, age, income, education, profession - are all linked to specific geographical regions.
And there is another aspect that cannot be ignored. In 35 years of liberal anthropology and ethnology killed and completely destroyed, we have been weaned off the nationality aspect. We have simply been weaned. When we abolished point 5 in 1989 (in what year did we abolish point 5?), we stopped thinking that any sociological aspect can and should be done from a national point of view. But our country is multi-faith and multi-ethnic. We cannot conduct surveys of this kind without taking this factor into account.
Moreover, when I talk about social work from a regional perspective, I firmly believe that in ethnic republics this work should be based exclusively on them, on these data relating to the national question. Because right now in the Republic of Tuva, I know that there are many difficulties, but the main thing is that even the so-called patriotic part of the Tuvan ethnic group is generally indifferent to what is happening in the country, they are not interested in the common cause. They grieve for their murdered brothers, sisters and children, because the coffins go to Tyva as to any other region. But in general they do not feel that they are part of something very big. And of such examples there are plenty.
In this sense, I conclude, there is certainly no need to change the methodology. And despite the known criticisms, Andrei Naumovich, at this table we are all profoundly similar, indigenous, so to speak. All the above things were said only to improve this direction, this work. And on the basis of the 'Criticise - Propose' principle, I will point out that our Palaeontology Centre, founded by Konstantin Valerievich and the St Basil the Great Foundation, has for eight years been dealing with various aspects similar to what is being done now in the new institute. Naturally, we mainly deal with ancient societies. But since our ethnographic group has developed in recent years, we can deal seriously with everything to do with geography, regionalism and the national aspect. Thank you very much.
Andrei Perla. Thank you. Alexander Guevich, if you will give me permission, I would like to say a few words, not as a moderator but as the organiser of the study.
Alexander Dugin. Of course.
Andrei Perla. Quite substantial questions have been asked. Let's start with the simplest one. I'm sorry, I can't rationally translate this methodology into Russian, but it's a bit of a flow, and it allows us to track the IP addresses of respondents, to find out where exactly a particular respondent is. From this point of view, of course, we can take into account the regional aspect and we can filter out all the respondents who are not in Russia at the time of the answer, which is exactly what happened in this survey. They might be Russian citizens, but we don't know, so we don't interact with them, just in case. This is the first thing.
The second. It is technically possible, of course, to construct a sample so that the survey is representative of the individual regions of Russia. And mathematically possible. It is just expensive. You understand perfectly well that when we conduct an opinion poll valid for the entire territory of Russia as a state, we can poll a thousand people and get a cross-section of opinions that can be used. Unfortunately, to get an opinion poll representative of a single Russian region with a population of, say, 500,000 people, we would have to do another thousand polls. In the poll we are launching now, we have planned 1,250 respondents for Russia as a whole.
If we want to know the opinion of the residents of Tyva, for example, which you mentioned, or of the Tambov region, where I worked last year, we will essentially have to do another such survey. And given the need to monitor the tracking very carefully, to track very carefully where the respondents are, it will be technologically more difficult and more expensive. At this stage, therefore, if it were up to me alone, I would cautiously advise against using surveys in individual Russian regions. And I certainly would not charge for an opinion poll that is representative of every region of the Russian Federation at this time. That would require an absolutely colossal and inhuman effort. Although with regard to knowing the opinion of, say, the residents of the new four territories, I would say that this expense and effort might be very necessary, because they would be separately very interesting.
Regarding professional affiliation. Yes, of course. It is possible, it is not very expensive, so we could plan a survey in which we would take into account the professional affiliation and even the specific occupation of each of our respondents. Why didn't we do this in the first survey we did for the Institute? Because we based it on the need to compare the results we were getting with those of the big pollsters who have been working for a long time.
In other words, the results of the survey we conducted can be compared with those of VCIOM. One can have different opinions about it, but it is a state survey. So are the surveys of the FOM and, for example, Romir. And the comparison would be obvious. Yes, you asked more or less the same question: that's where the difference in answers comes from. As soon as we start introducing additional parameters, we lose the opportunity for direct comparison. Instead, we have the opportunity to criticise ourselves, or even simply reject our results. On the basis that you have done it using a completely different methodology, it is incomparable. We will still get it, of course. But we will probably have more arguments.
So I don't think, God forbid, that the conversation is over. This is only the beginning of the answer. But we still have to move on. I therefore ask Father Alexander Toloknov, Archpriest, Head of the Secretariat of the Perm Section of the World Russian People's Council, to take the floor. Thank you.
Father Alexander Toloknov. Thank you very much. Thank you. Of course, a sociological survey in cyberspace reflects a part of society that is in this internet space. It is a large part of our society, objectively. If we were to conduct such a sociological survey in an orthodox environment, for example in a civil-patriotic or quasi-orthodox environment, gathering the opinions of those people who weave networks today, who make dugout candles, the results would be completely different.
But it is actually not so much what matters here as the fact that, in fact, the problem is outlined. The part of society that is in the Internet space does not support the special operation. It does not share or understand the tasks that the state faces today. And it seems to me that this is the most important issue. I mean, how can one not understand, or rather, how can one be against the Special Operation going on today? I mean, people don't understand what is going on. And what kind of war it is. This is the most important topic, which is worth talking about. In fact, as Gellner said, we need some kind of technology to explain to people what the essence of war is today, what the real problem is.
After all, when, for example, the Americans bombed Iraq, we realised that the aim was for multinational corporations to gain power, including in Iraq, and to seize the country's wealth. When American special forces entered Baghdad, people in civilian clothes entered the Baghdad National Museum. They took away the relics of the prophet Jonah and those of other ancient saints. The question is: where are these relics today? It is clear that they have been destroyed. The same is happening today in Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. In other words, darkness is physically fighting against light. And today, the task of penetrating the Lavra is not just a church matter. Although it is also on the surface here.
However, our enemies are trying to do the same thing they did with the relics of the prophet Jonah in Baghdad and other ancient saints. That is, to take those relics away, to physically destroy them. This moment must be clearly formulated. And that is why it is very important for the society that is in the internet space, for 30-40% of the people it is very important to inform about what is happening now. I believe that if at least half of this 30% understood what is really happening today, the situation would change for the better. It is clear that these people will not immediately convert to Orthodoxy, but as our poet used to say: 'You may not be a poet, but you must be a citizen'.
Because in this Internet space, as the war correspondents said today, there are guys who are on the front line, they are there too. Sometimes they too do not understand what they are fighting for. What if there was a ceasefire tomorrow? Should we really go on the attack or should we wait. Risk their lives? And there are children at home, a mortgage, a family. Who will take care of them afterwards? And so on. This is, I think, a very important problem that has been identified by this survey. The problem is that people don't understand what is going on. That's on the one hand.
But if people don't understand what's going on, it's a question of education today. I mean, how do you understand the current agenda, how it has changed today, if it is going in a patriotic direction? Education is inextricably linked to education. A person cannot simply be educated and not educated. It does not happen that way. A genius can grow up and become a genius. But he can also become an evil genius. And so on. That is why the issue of education should also be on the agenda today. Changes are being made, the Russian president recently spoke about higher education.
Today we need to talk about educational content, not just patriotic content. When students come and shoot at fellow students, what kind of act is that? Patriotic or immoral? I think it is more immoral. That is why the approach to education today also needs to be reviewed. If we had dealt with this disease earlier, perhaps it would not be so evident today in the context in which it exists.
I agree with Denis Valeryevich, there is a desire, indeed an internal desire to clearly understand the results of the survey by region. That is how people in the regions support Special Operations, right in the Internet space. I think that if, for example, we were to conduct this survey in the Chechen Republic, the figures would be completely different, and so on.
As a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, I appeal first of all to my own ideas. We have the FOC, the fundamentals of Orthodox culture, in the fourth form in which they were requested. That is, in percentage ratio in each region somewhere it was 10%, somewhere 15, 25%, and so on. In other words, it was an indication of joint efforts by the state, the church, the departments and the educational authorities. In other words, it was a certain result. Perhaps such a division into regions is really necessary, at least for internal understanding or for a small circle. Then we could at least understand where the problem is most acute and where it is least acute. That is, perhaps, what I wanted to say. Thank you.
Andrei Perla. Thank you very much.
Alexander Dugin. I have a suggestion. We have touched on important methodological issues. I would like to summarise a number of practical considerations. In classical sociology there is a well-known class definition scale. Who, how and on the basis of what factors we can refer to the upper class, the middle class or the lower class. There are four criteria. Today they are quite easy to quantify, much better than before, thanks to the Internet.
Class is defined along four axes.
The first is education, the number of years spent in education - and regardless of diplomas received or not. It is not a question of educational success, but only of how many years one has devoted to the process itself.
Secondly, the income level. This is quite simple.
Third: the level of fame. Today it is perfectly measured by the number of social network members. Not for an expert in profiling and OSINT, but for a simple half-listener.
Fourth: power, which is defined by only one thing: the number of subordinates. And nothing else. That is, a man can consider himself a Napoleon, if he has only one cat among his subordinates, he is nobody. All that matters is the number of people who work for you. No matter in what capacity.
There, these four categories define class.
Now it is very easy to see this in Internet surveys. The distribution of people in the classic class table based on these four parameters is automatically revealed.
One may recall Bourdieu's own idea of the 'ghetto' and the 'club'. He said that the ghetto is inclusive; it includes everyone. It is enough to have none of the four indicators, e.g. subordinates, but to have everything else in abundance (education, income, fame) and you find yourself in the ghetto. And to enter the club, it is mandatory to have high positions in all areas.
This distribution is very important for an in-depth qualitative analysis of the survey results. Today they are easily quantifiable, turned into numbers. With this kind of consideration we will immediately understand whether a respondent belongs to the elite or the masses, to a club or a ghetto. These are vertical criteria.
Next. There are six horizontal criteria that say nothing about the class to which the respondent belongs, but are very telling in other respects. Three of these we have presented: geography, gender and age. But there are three others that are very important. I absolutely agree with Denis Pezhemsky on the importance of ethnicity. I would add three more horizontal criteria - ethnicity, denomination, profession. Then there are six more horizontal categories that complete the picture, along with class.
So we have ten criteria. Four of these allow us to construct a vertical, to identify the respondent's membership of a sociological class, while six horizontal criteria allow us to qualitatively interpret the survey results.
Of course, we could elaborate further, but we must stop in time. It is no coincidence that sociologists have chosen four axes and no more. It is a classic pattern in sociology. There is nothing new about it. But in river sampling itself, taking class into account helps to understand who it covers, who it touches. And the six horizontal criteria provide important information in relation to other qualitative factors. The qualitative criterion involved in the data analysis can shed light on the structure of our society. We will get to know it better.
We will have an increase in sociological knowledge.
Andrei Perla. Yes, we have some people who would like to zoom in.
Phaedrus Turkin. We want it very much.
Andrei Perla. Yes, Fyodor Olegovich Turkin is asking to speak. If you would be so kind.
Fyodor Turkin. Hello. You can hear me, can't you?
Alexander Dugin. Yes, yes.
Fyodor Turkin. Hello. I'm not a scientist, but a professional. I'm one of the managers of a construction company. So even our activities necessarily start with research work. But it always ends with concrete actions. That is why I would like, having created a fairly good sociological team, to continue to carry out similar measurements in order to understand the dynamics. Today's results, in my opinion, are similar to the picture we have in St Petersburg. And the situation in our company is probably the same. But something must be done, something must be changed.
So we should probably set up groups on the basis of the Institute to organise further work on the basis of sociological research. This includes propaganda, public relations. Patriotic ideas should be promoted with the means and data of sociology. And here, it might be possible to introduce in fragments some ideological moments as pen tests: what works and what does not work. So that, for example, in one year we can formulate the national idea that we all need. Which is so necessary to unite all our people. And, among other things, it will help us men to become 100 per cent men again and women to become women. Because, in fact, the women we have now are simply heroic. Simply heroic.
But men in some regions are also at their best. You know, Chechnya has been mentioned here, only in passing. One of the best known people, I won't say his name, told me that 28 men from his village went into the SAS. 22 were killed. That is no small loss. So, of course, the result of the SMO cannot be something incomprehensible, there must be a victory, of course, there must be a victory! And it is necessary for us. They went to fight for us, the Russians! They went to fight for us Russians! In our civil war the Americans have sown. I think we have to think very seriously about this. In fact, the de-feminisation of men is simply overdue. Here, these are some modest considerations. And I think it is quite possible to implement them in the Institute.
The text may contain translation inaccuracies as it has been translated several times due to its length.
Translation by Lorenzo Maria Pacini