reform which is supported by “fewer than 10 percent of Russians.”
What is especially striking in recent polls, the Levada Center head adds, is that more Russians want to see an improvement in relations with the West than are concerned about improving the standard of living. Fifty-one percent list improving ties with the West as most important; 45 percent say living standards are.
This makes perfect sense, he says. “People from their own experience know that he authorities will deceive them and that all Putin’s promises will remain unfulfilled. But confrontation with the rest of the civilized world really frightens them.”