Most Russians Think the Nation Needs Nuclear Weapons

According to Vedomosti, the majority of Russians (83 percent) think the nation needs nuclear weapons, citing a survey done by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center. Only 11% of those polled believe that nuclear weapons are unnecessary.

According to Dmitry Stefanovich of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations, the poll’s findings seem plausible and even fair. Because the memories of catastrophic enemy invasions are still vivid in people’s minds, Russians prefer to see the nation’s nuclear shield favorably, and nuclear weapons safeguard the country from such tragic events.

This seems to be one of the topics on which society and the government are completely in agreement. Russia’s position as a full-fledged nuclear power and one of the two most advanced nuclear nations has undoubtedly had a part in this. However, the survey’s findings do not imply that the Russian people are unaware of the dangers posed by nuclear weapons, which is why many Russians support efforts linked to a nuclear test moratorium and nuclear non-proliferation, according to Stefanovich.

Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, concurs with the poll’s findings. For years, he claims, Russia has been working to “rehabilitate nuclear weapons as a global containment mechanism and a factor averting a catastrophic nuclear war.” 

The public views nuclear weapons as a tool that can assist the nation close the gap with the rest of the West in terms of other weapons, according to Kortunov. Meanwhile, there is a distinct generation gap between the older and younger generations. According to Kortunov, nuclear weapons, like any military confrontation, are “a remnant of the previous century” for certain young people.

The interest that Russians have in the government’s foreign policy pronouncements may be another reason why nuclear weapons are popular among the country’s people, according to the expert.