Russians say external military threat has grown - poll

Sixty-eight percent of Russian citizens recently interviewed by the All Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies (VTsIOM) believe that their country faces a real military threat from outside, as compared with 52 percent of respondents in 2014, and 49 percent in 2000.

Sixty-eight percent of Russian citizens recently interviewed by the All Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies (VTsIOM) believe that their country faces a real military threat from outside, as compared with 52 percent of respondents in 2014, and 49 percent in 2000.

Twenty-eight percent of those polled took the opposite view (42 percent in 2014).

The survey was conducted in 46 Russian regions on February 14-15 and involved 1,600 people.

At the same time, 49 percent of respondents gave positive assessments of the Russian Armed Forces, as compared with 24 percent in 2014, and 14 percent in 2009. A mere 6 percent of those polled spoke negatively of the Russian army (14 percent in 2014), and 40 percent of respondents described the current condition of the country's Armed Forces as satisfactory.

However, respondents appeared divided over the need to increase the numerical strength of the Armed Forces.

Forty percent of respondents said that such a measure was necessary (30 percent in 2014), and 42 percent expressed the opposite opinion. Seven percent of those surveyed even called for a significant reduction of the army's numerical strength.

Forty-seven percent of respondents said they want their son, brother or husband to serve in the Armed Forces, 47 percent took the opposite view, and 6 percent were unable to answer this question.

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