40% young Russia: We’ll beat America in nuclear war
Does America have a clue how much hate against them is being stirred up in Russia?
This kind of breakdown in communication was also noted by sociologist Karina Lipiya of the Levada polling organization.
“People generally do not want to hear another point of view,” she told Radio France Internationale’s Russian-language website.
Her Levada colleague Alexei Levinson noted how significant numbers of Russians were now entertaining thoughts that “until yesterday were unthinkable and unacceptable”.
As he wrote in business daily Vedomosti in April, 47% men said Mr Putin’s statement about being ready to use nuclear weapons “did not make them fearful”. A large proportion of young people (40%) also thought Russia could defeat the United States in a nuclear war, he said.
Mr Levinson linked these bellicose opinions to the influence of television.
Recent research suggests that Kremlin TV propaganda may have declined in popularity from a peak in the summer and autumn of 2014.
But Ukraine still dominates the TV news, and talkshows where guests rant about US plans for world domination continue to command large audiences.
For veteran TV critic Yury Bogomolov, this suggests that many Russian people have somehow become “addicted to propaganda” and now have an “appetite for aggression”.
“There is a cycle of hatred in our society,” he wrote in a blog on the website of independent radio station, Ekho Moskvy.