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‘Real Men’ Must Serve in the Army, Majority of Russians Say

Sergey Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

The share of Russians who believe that real men must serve in the military has reached a 22-year high, according to a recent survey published by the independent Levada Center pollster.

Russia’s military and intelligence services are among the country’s most-trusted institutions, despite recent polls saying Russians have grown weary with their country’s military campaigns abroad. Many Russians believe that time in the Armed Forces teaches boys masculinity and responsibility, state-run polling has said in recent years.

Sixty percent of Russians say that every real man should serve in the Armed Forces, the Levada Center poll published on Tuesday said.

Another 24 percent of respondents said military service is a debt that is owed to the state, while 12 percent said they viewed it as a meaningless and dangerous occupation.

Meanwhile, 88 percent of respondents said Russia’s military is capable of defending the country in case of a real military threat, with 53 percent saying they were certain of this — the highest share that expressed certainty in the 19 years that the question was asked.

When asked whether more government spending should be allocated to improving citizens’ well-being or on increasing military might, 82 percent said they preferred the former, according to the poll.

The Levada Center conducted the survey among 1,616 respondents in 50 Russian regions on May 24-29.

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