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Poll shows Russian society craves for strong and reliable army

December 22, 2015, 11:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The society’s attitude to the Russian army has radically improved over the past 15 years.

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© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 21 /TASS/. Russian society’s demand for a strong and reliable army has never been higher and the population’s attitude to the military is extremely positive, Valery Fyodorov, director general of the Russian public opinion center VTSIOM, told the final session of the Russian Defense Ministry Public Council on Monday.

"The society’s attitude to the Russian army has radically improved over the past 15 years. This popularity growth has been vertical over the past three years. The dynamics is fantastic: from 32% of Russians who approved of the Armed Forces activities in 2006 to 82% in 2015," he said.

The VTSIOM chief said there was a number of reasons for the army’s improved image. First, the state has invested profusely in the Russian army over the past few years. It has adopted new laws and changed the principle of staffing the Russian Armed Forces.

"Everything has integrated and produced a cumulative effect after Sergei Shoigu had become the Russian defense minister," Fyodorov stressed.

The society’s outcry for a strong, confident and reliable defender who can be trusted has never been stronger than it is today, the sociologist said.

"Our opinion polls show that society is literally ‘crying out’ for a strong army," he said.

According to VTSIOM polls, 88% of respondents shared the idea that Russia needed a strong army; 88% trust Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu; 89% believe that the Russian army will be able to defend the country in case of a real military threat.

General of the Army Nikolai Pankov, the state secretary and Russian deputy defense minister, also noted that Russian society had improved its attitude to the army in recent years.

"We see the attitude of the Russians and the entire world community to the Russian army changing. In fact, it has changed completely and not only to the credit of people with shoulder straps but also due to the efforts of those who agreed to lend a ‘public shoulder’ to our army. A great deal of important work is lying ahead," Pankov told the final session of Russian Defense Ministry Public Council on Monday.

Pankov thanked the Public Council members for working on behalf of the Russian Defense Ministry.

"All of you are busy people. Nevertheless, we see and appreciate your interest and involvement in the Russian army affairs," General Pankov told those present.

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