Is Ukraine more dangerous for Russians than ISIS?
The All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) has conducted a public opinion poll on the threat of a military attack: potential allies and opponents of Russia.
According to its results, more than a third of the Russians feel threatened militarily. They named the potential sources of aggression primarily the United States (63%) and Ukraine (31%). Next on the list are NATO (7%), China (5%), Great Britain (4%), ISIS (4%), Syria (3%), Germany (3%) and other states.
At the same time, according to a press release published on the VCIOM website, in a difficult situation, allied support is expected by Russians mainly from China (41%), Belarus (25%) and Kazakhstan (18%). There are also respondents who count on support from the US (2%) and Ukraine (2%). In the opinion of every tenth (10%), there would be no one to seek assistance in the event of a military attack against Russia.
The survey was conducted on June 16-17. 1200 people took part in the survey. The poll’s margin of error is no more than 3.5%.
The President of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted in the first place that such a low percentage of those who are afraid of ISIS is connected with the fact that people perceive the threat from it as subversive and terrorist. "Such a threat is unlikely for Russia. It is more likely for the post-Soviet countries of Central Asia. For Russia, ISIS is a threat not of a military invasion, but of a more or less branched underground," the expert explained.
Speaking about the fears of Russians about a possible military threat from the United States and Ukraine, he stressed that they are quite rational. "The conflict in Donbas is not solved. It remains unclear how the parties will react, how the US responds to Russia's reaction. Of course, military reaction is unlikely, but it is natural that people are afraid of it," the political scientist said.
At the same time he drew attention to the fact that in the event of military aggression, Russia should not count on anyone's help.
A military observer of the TASS news agency, retired Colonel Viktor Litovkin, in turn, pointed out that Russians are not afraid of ISIS, because this group is far from the borders of Russia. "In addition, Russians see the actions of Russian military security services in Syria, which are destroying ISIS at distant approaches. Therefore, fears are much more linked to the US. Naturally, people are afraid that the US can take some kind of military action against us," the expert explained. .
He also recalled that the United States is installing missile defense systems and tank units near the Russian borders, involving other NATO countries. "There are American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, US planes are flying near our borders, and their ships are entering the Black Sea. So, in the opinion of many people ,the American threat is real," the retired colonel noted.
In his opinion, fears of aggression on the part of Ukraine are also understandable. "There is a civil war in Ukraine, an information war is going on against our country there," the TASS military observer said.
At the same time, he focused on the fact that if there is a real military threat, Russia will be able to rely only on its army and navy. "China will not fight for us. Belarus can fight together with us, because an attack on Russia will also mean an attack on Belarus. Kazakhstan will fight together with us only if there is a conflict on the border with Afghanistan. Overall, I do not think that a big war is possible, because both NATO and the US they understand that the war with Russia is a war of self-destruction," Viktor Litovkin concluded.