Shoigu’s confidence rating has nearly tripled since the start of the war

Russians have a worse attitude towards the head of the Ministry of National Defense Sergei Shoigu – the level of trust in him has fallen to a minimum since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, according to a survey conducted by the state sociological service VTsIOM.

As of February 28, only 11.2% of those polled believed that the minister could still be entrusted with solving important government matters. President Vladimir Putin (37.5%) is in first place, followed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (16.3%) and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin (14.3%).

Shoigu was not among the top three most popular Russian politicians for the third month in a row, but he was permanently among the leaders of the anti-rating, which was not the case before the war. According to February results, 4.1% of Russians categorically do not trust Shoigu. The question was open-ended and allowed any number of answers. Taking into account two indicators, the indicator of trust in the Minister of National Defense amounted to 7 percentage points

For comparison, in March 2022, 21.1% of Russians trusted Shoigu, while 2.3% believed the opposite. Thus, the confidence index fell almost three times – from 18.8 to 7 pp

The head of the Ministry of Defense continues to lose the respect and support of the population due to the protracted war in Ukraine, said Dara Massicot, an analyst at the RAND Corporation, which deals with Russian defense and security issues. “The losses of the Russian army are in the hundreds a day, the offensive near Ugledar ended in a fiasco due to the army being thrown into minefields. Within a year, almost all the commanders involved in the war were relieved of their posts, transferred to Syria or retired [главу Генштаба Валерия] Gerasimov and Shoigu, who bear the greatest responsibility, were spared for political reasons.” recorded mascot.

The expert addsI what Shoigu still stays afloat because he is “an experienced bureaucrat with a keen instinct for self-preservation.” It is also known that Shoigu has a high opinion of himself and attaches great importance to PR.

Earlier, the publication Proekt published an investigation that confirmed this with the arrival of an official in the Ministry of Defense, the ministry’s press service was transformed into a department of information and mass communication with about a hundred employees, which began to work around the clock and hide any negative ministry.

Shoigu’s influence can also be assessed on the basis of the case with the founder of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose conflict with the Ministry of Defense intensified after the start of the war in Ukraine. Due to harsh statements addressed to the top leadership of the army, as well as the successes of the PMC at the front, a businessman First hit in the top ten most mentioned in the press people of the Interfax SCAN system and planning to remove Shoigu, he claimed a person close to Prigozhin in an interview with the Financial Times.

But already in February, mentions of Prigozhin and Wagner in the state media were banned, and he began to complain that the Ministry of Defense was not supplying ammunition to his mercenaries, accusing Shoigu and Gerasimov of treason and of trying to destroy the PMC. The advertised recruitment of prisoners in the colonies was also stopped. At the same time, the Ministry of Defense itself began traveling to prisons in search of “volunteers” to be sent to war.


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