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Russians Increasingly Support the Use of Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine, a Poll Reveals


Recent polling conducted by the Levada Center reveals a concerning trend among Russians regarding attitudes toward nuclear strikes on Ukraine. According to the survey released on July 4, one in three Russians believe that a nuclear strike on Ukraine could be justified. Specifically, 10% of respondents said such an attack could “definitely” be justified, with an additional 24% indicating it could “probably” be justified. These figures represent a 5-percentage point increase from the previous year.

In contrast, the majority of respondents, accounting for 52%, oppose the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, although this percentage has decreased from 56% in April 2023. The poll also highlighted demographic trends, showing that those who approve of nuclear strikes tend to be older and rely on Russian state media for their news, while younger individuals who get their news from platforms like YouTube are more likely to oppose such actions.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski disclosed in a recent interview that the United States has warned Russia of potential retaliatory measures using conventional weapons if nuclear weapons are employed. This stance is part of broader international efforts to deter nuclear escalation in the region. Both China and India have also urged Russia to refrain from nuclear threats.

Despite heightened rhetoric and military exercises, including recent nuclear drills by Russia and Belarus, there has been no actual use of nuclear weapons during the ongoing war in Ukraine. Russian self-proclaimed President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly issued nuclear threats, which have not been realized, while tensions with Western nations continue to escalate.

In response to the evolving situation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attributed increased tensions to what Russia perceives as hostile actions and statements from Western capitals, particularly Washington. Meanwhile, the United States has indicated a potential need to bolster its strategic nuclear weapons deployment in light of growing threats from adversaries like Russia and China.

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