Analysing international policy processes and Lithuania’s role in them
Events Mar 08, 2024

Discussion “Insights into Russian Society: Exploring Soldier Morale, Public Opinion and Civil-Military Relations”

Today, experts from Sweden, Ukraine, and Belgium visited the Eastern Europe Studies Centre and discussed the perception of the morale of Russian soldiers, Russian public opinion, and attitudes towards Russia’s war against Ukraine. The participants were Pär Gustafsson Kurki from the Swedish Defense Research Agency, who discussed the institute’s study “The Russian Understanding of Soldier Morale”; Oleksandr Shulga, Head of the Russian Institute for Conflict Studies and Analysis (IKAR), who presented the study “Anniversary of the second-scale invasion: attitude of the Russian public and expectations from the new (old) president”; and Joris Van Bladel from the Egmont Institute.

During the discussion, psychological and social processes taking place between soldiers on the battlefield and the role of religion in Russian military culture were explored. The experts also talked about the consequences of the war in the daily life of Russians and the factors they singled out as the biggest problems, emphasizing egoistic motives in the first place – deteriorating economic conditions and the desire to have a better financial situation. They also highlighted that the prevailing routinization of war is particularly useful for the Russian regime. When evaluating warfare, they emphasized that one must look realistically – not to underestimate the soldiers, but to analyse which aspects motivate them the most for Russians.