The Russian View on the War in Ukraine: Insights from Google Trends
27 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2022
Date Written: March 21, 2022
As the Russian attack on Ukraine commenced on February 24, 2022, Western media was full of interpretations and predictions about the Russian public’s opinion on the war. However, due to strict government restrictions on freedom of speech, independent media is blocked and large-scale investigation of the Russian public’s view is impossible. This study proposes Google Trends as an alternative approach to gain insights on issue salience in Russia. By analyzing Google search volume in Russia, the study documents strong public interest in the situation in Ukraine and registers that the public takes a nuanced view on the war. These findings offer a better understanding of the Russian public’s position on the war in Ukraine. In addition, the study has implications for the usage of Google Trends in research that tries to capture information-gathering behavior and issue salience.
Keywords: Google Trends, Russia, Issue salience, Media, Sanctions, Information-seeking
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation