Most respondents (86%) in the social poll conducted by the Public Opinion foundation believe Russia's young do not want to serve in the army. Over half of them (53%) sympathise with draft evaders while just 35% do not.
A large number of respondents (42%) believe that the lack of willingness on the part of the young to serve in the army is due to unhealthy conditions existing there, while only 9% think that this is because army service is dangerous and (16%) there is a chance to have to fight. Besides, 6% of all respondents said serving in the army meant 'wasting one's time senselessly' and 1% answered that serving in the army was 'not prestigious'.
Most respondents (68%) also noted that desertions had lately become more frequent. Many say this is due to widespread unhealthy relationships (44%) and unhealthy living conditions (28%). Also, 16% of all respondents think that desertions are due to soldiers' personal problems. While on the whole 53% sympathise with draft evaders, 60% of women justify the youth's unwillingness to serve. While 28% of all respondents condemn evaders, men (36%) do so more frequently. 34% of all respondents condemning evaders are people who never graduated from high school.
The total number of respondents in this poll conducted throughout Russia was 1,500.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969