A year into what was supposed to be a short war, Russia has given little indication it is prepared to back down. Its Wagner paramilitary force has taken the lead in Bakhmut, the focus of the most intense fighting, while Ukraine steps up drone attacks and receives resupplies from NATO countries. For Moscow, a critical factor is the level of domestic support for the conflict.
Public approval in Russia has remained high and stable for most of the war, except briefly when the Kremlin announced a partial mobilization. Two waves of emigration, however, served as a release valve. By now, most Russians have adapted to the new normal. Their main concerns today have to do with the realignment of the Russian economy in response to Western sanctions, the exit from Russia of Western firms, and Kremlin decrees on import substitution. That said, people still fear a new wave of mobilization or a significant escalation of hostilities.