‘More bloodthirsty than Putin’ Russian TV sends chilling message on Moscow’s next move

Pundits claim Russians are 'more bloodthirsty' than Putin

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In a broadcast on Tuesday, Russia-1 held a panel where presenters discussed Vladimir Putin’s plans.

Political scientist Sergey Mikheyev said on the state TV channel: “In our country, many are a lot more radical-minded than President Putin.

“If somebody thinks that President Putin is tough, you’re wrong treat Messieur’s, Monsieur’s and Panove, you’re mistaken.

“Some of them might be lying to themselves that there are all these Russian people and all of them dream of living in a liberal democracy and Putin alone is forcing them to conduct this military operation, you’re mistaken.”

Mr Mikheyev then claimed an older man talked to him on the street and asked him “why are we playing games? When those presidents visited Zelensky they should have been eliminated”.

The expert then added: “This how most of the Russian men are thinking.

“The approach of an average Russian citizen is a lot more harsh and radical.”

Host Vladimir Solovyov also said: “There will be no world if there’s no Russia, that’s why they hate Putin so much.

“Because they understand that Putin won’t accept any compromise. There will be no compromise, God willing.”

According to the London School of Economics, who carried out surveys immediately before and after the outbreak of the Ukrainian invasion, the majority of Russian’s supported the war.

They said across the series of initial polls, a ‘silent majority’, about 60 percent of Russian respondents, indicated they endorsed the “special military operation” in Ukraine.

The Levada Centre, a Russian pollster, said on April 11 that 81 percent of respondents “support the actions of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine”.

They added the dominant feelings among Russians caused by military actions in Ukraine are “pride for Russia” at 51 percent, “anxiety, fear, horror” at 31 percent, and “shock” at 12 percent.

The survey by the Levada Center was conducted March 24 – 30 2022, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents.

The sample was comprised of 1,632 people aged 18 or older in 137 municipalities of 50 regions of the Russian Federation.

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LSE researchers Philipp Chapkovski and Max Schaub noted a phenomenon of “preference falsification” in Russian public opinion surveys: whether respondents were hiding their true feelings on political questions.

They said: “While it is well known that fear of repression can lead to preference falsification — i.e., people publicly supporting positions they privately don’t share — showing that this mechanism is at work is not easy.

“After all, people are unlikely to say whether they are hiding their true preferences or not if they are hesitant to reveal these preferences in the first place.”

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Denis Volkov, Levada Centre director, said in an online discussion hosted on April 5 by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations support for the war “shouldn’t be a surprise because already before the conflict started, in the end of February, we already had the main counters of the attitudes towards it”.

He added: “I think it is important to bear in mind that there is not monolithic support, like with this military operation, like with Putin.

“About half support, half of Russians support him more or less unconditionally, and about one-third, they have some doubts, like sometimes respondents say: ‘I don’t like what is happening, but you should be patriotic in such situations.’”

It comes after Boris Johnson prepares to announce a new £300 million package of defensive military aid on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister is set to tell the Ukrainian parliament via video link this is Ukraine’s “finest hour”, echoing Winston Churchill.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain the UK was leading the world in helping Ukraine to “protect themselves”.

He said: “What the UK is doing – and has done since the crisis began – is lead the world in helping the Ukrainians protect themselves against barbaric aggression by Vladimir Putin. That’s all we’re doing.

“We’re not saying we’re doing this in order to drive some geopolitical change or to have an outcome in Moscow..

“What we care about is Ukrainian people and their suffering, and it is totally unjustifiable to allow a free, sovereign, independent country, like Ukraine, just to be overwhelmed and obliterated as it might have been.”

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