More than half of Russians felt fearful or anxious after hearing that the Kremlin was drafting hundreds of thousands of soldiers to fight in Ukraine, according to a poll released by the independent Levada Centre on Thursday.
In the poll, conducted from September 22-28, 47 per cent of respondents said they had felt anxiety, fear or dread following President Vladimir Putin’s announcement on September 21.
Another 13 per cent said they had felt anger, while 23 per cent said they had felt pride in Russia.
The poll was conducted among 1,631 Russians aged 18 or over in 50 regions.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said only 300,000 reservists with previous military experience would be called up, but there has been public irritation, even among officials and pro-Kremlin commentators, at the large number of unsuitable or ostensibly ineligible people being given call-up papers.
Thousands of draft-age men have tried to leave Russia, while protests have been held – and quickly broken up by police – in dozens of cities.
The Kremlin has acknowledged that some call-ups have been issued in error, and said last week that mistakes were being corrected by regional governors and the ministry of defence.