The magic of numbers. How the occupiers manipulate “public opinion polls” and why they should be ignored

August 13, 2022

The closer to September 11 when the invaders intend to hold their pseudo-referendum, the more the Russians begin to throw into the media space numbers that should prove local support for the occupation. Let’s explain why this is manipulation.

Russian media have already started to cite various data and figures that differ significantly. All because the Kremlin clearly divides the target audiences on which it wants to impose its narratives. So, for the outspoken supporters of Putin, “RIA-Novosti” reported that the Crimean Republican Institute of Political and Sociological Research conducted a survey according to which 83% of Zaporizhzhya Oblast residents spoke in favor of joining the Russian Federation and only 3% for Ukraine. They will believe 95% of the time.

At the same time the publication did not explain why local people refuse to take passports, because during the month of issuance, approximately 10,000 people received this red waste paper, which is within the statistical margin of error. We didn’t even see rallies in support of the Russian Federation, except for a few staged actions from the mass brought to occupied territories.

For oppositionists and those looking for “good Russians” Moscow uses soft power. The Russian media “Meduza” reported with reference to sources in the Kremlin that the invaders conducted a survey of local attitudes in the occupied territories. Accordingly, 30% were in favor of joining, another 30% were against, and the rest “could not answer.” So, propagandists left 40% for maneuvers.

This way the publication does not hide that it received data from sources in the Kremlin, that is, the “decision-making center” regarding the war against Ukraine. Of course, these announced numbers are beneficial to Moscow and Russians, they should be made public.

Secondly, in that wording there are 30% supporters of the Russian Federation and 40% who cannot answer, that is, they will then be positioned as those who are “not for Ukraine”. Next, the authors write about political technologists who allegedly work on the “referendum”. Such a thesis will further help to explain the hypothetical increase in votes “for the occupation” by the work of PR specialists. That is, an increase of this 40%. A simple method of thirds, where “only a third against the Russian Federation”. For “good Russians” this thesis has a simple meaning that “not everything is so clear-cut.”

But none of the publications says that all these polls are not legitimate, because if they were really conducted, then under the conditions of occupation. With such success, it is possible to conduct a poll among the inmates in the prison on the topic “do you like the boss?”.

In fact, the Russians are not going to ask anyone about the occupation of these territories, and the pseudo-referendum itself will be in the format “You are not against the occupation” with the answer options: “No, not against”, “Yes, not against.” Therefore, they are not interested in the mood of society.

All the reported data have one goal – to divert attention from the war crime. The creation of “white noise”, which is designed to make people discuss some mythical numbers and argue about their veracity, instead of discussing Russian tanks on the territory of a foreign sovereign state.

The Ukrainian constitution does not provide for the secession of regions through referendums, especially under the muzzles of enemy tanks. The only referendum on determining the ownership of the occupied territories was held in 1991, and then all regions, including Crimea, determined their fate and supported the idea of ​​an independent Ukraine.

Therefore we urge you not to play along with the enemy and ignore all these numbers, even if you “like” them or think they are “true”. Remember – Ukraine is one and indivisible, and the Russian Federation is an occupying country, for which these numbers are not really important.