Russian Narrative on Drone Incident Fails to Gain Traction


Tracking Global Events | 11 April 2023

On Tuesday March 14th, two Russian fighter jets came in contact with a United States surveillance drone. During the encounter, the unmanned drone was forced down into the Black Sea. Initially, Russia denied all claims of a collision; however, once the United States released footage of the incident, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that the drone was downed in response to the United States’ increased intelligence gathering on Russia. To better understand the prevailing narratives and their impact on the public’s perception of the event, Premise fielded a rapid response survey in the United Kingdom and Poland.


  • While Russian disinformation narratives have been successful in the past, respondents from both Poland and the UK largely rejected Russia’s claims about the incident: 56% of Polish respondents and 33% of UK respondents stated that they somewhat disbelieve or entirely disbelieve the Russian narrative.
  • A majority of Poles believe Russia is to blame for the encounter: 58% of respondents blame Russia, 6% blame the US, 12% blame both countries, and 22% are unsure where to place blame.
  • Additionally, nearly half of UK respondents place blame on Russia: 40% blame Russia, 10% blame the US, 28% blame both countries, and 20% are unsure who to blame.
  • Furthermore, nearly half of all respondents view the incident as intentional: 46% of UK respondent and 51% of Polish respondents stated that they believe the collision was intentional.
  • As tensions continue to grow, a significant majority of all respondents are concerned that Russia will continue to act aggressively: 77% of Polish respondents and 56% of UK respondents expressed concern.


From March 23rd to March 29th, Premise collected sentiment data from 1,004 respondents in the United Kingdom and 742 respondents in Poland. Our demographic panel had a high level of gender parity with 50% male and 50% female respondents in the United Kingdom and 44% male and 56% female in Poland. This survey utilized convenience sampling, a type of non-probability sampling that is hyper efficient in tracking dynamic events.

Premise in Action

Premise offers a unique ability to quickly source information from real people on the ground in hard-to-reach places. Over five million people in 140 countries are using the Premise app on their smartphones, enabling our customers to monitor a situation over time and employ a data-driven approach to timely decision-making.