According to the latest public opinion poll, the percentage of Russians who see a military career as a preferred future for their children has risen from 6 to 13 percent over the past five years.
The same research, conducted by the state-run sociological agency VTSIOM, showed that the prestige of the police also increased sharply between 2012 and 2017.
The head of VTSIOM’s department of research projects, Yelena Mikhailova, wrote that the changes in public sentiment could most likely be explained by the improvement in the living standards of servicemen and increases in pay, as well as a major re-equipping with modern arms and equipment. She added that the changes in attitude to the police could also be explained by the appeal of a stable and guaranteed salary and predictable career, especially in the current economic recession.
Mikhailova also noted that military service was gaining more popularity because it offers opportunities to move to more developed regions and, eventually – for a successful career. “As a result, we are now witnessing a phenomenon in which people are trying to bribe recruiters to join the military, not to evade the draft like it has been before,” she wrote.
A different poll conducted by VTSIOM in December 2016 showed that the Russian military forces topped the citizens’ trust rating. “Our citizens continue to demonstrate their strongest support and approval for the military forces (87 percent), the Russian Orthodox Church (71.9 percent) and mass media (65.4 percent),” the agency wrote in the press release.
In October 2016, researchers found that half of all Russians considered budget allocations for defense a major priority and also thought that development of the weapons industry could benefit the national economy as a whole. In the same poll, 64 percent said they considered military service a good school of life for young people, and the military ranked third in the list of the most important public institutions (after family and school).