Friday, November 28, 2014

Window on Eurasia: More than 70 Percent of Russians Don’t Have Clear Idea about ‘Russian World’

Paul Goble


            Staunton, November 28 – Seventy-one percent of Russians in a poll conducted by VTsIOM earlier this week said they had not heard enough about the main ideological theme of the Putin regime, the Russian world, to be able to describe it; and only one Russian in eight was ready to try to provide a definition of that world to pollsters.


            In announcing these findings, VTsIOM general director Valery Fedorov said that in his view, “this means that we are at the beginning of this project and not at its end,” although he noted that the same survey had found that 63 percent of Russians believe that the “Russian world” is more likely to exist than not.


            The sociologist stressed that the term has a long history: it wasn’t created yesterday or even a decade ago. But for a long time, it was employed only “in a narrow circle of intellectuals, ‘despairing bureaucrats,’ and did not pass” in the population at large. But in the last year, “everything has changed” and people should understand it better.


            This is not the only poll result in recent days that is likely to concern the Kremlin. A second poll found that up to 80 percent of Russians say that the “Crimea is Ours” project, itself part of the Russian world idea, has led to a decline in their standard of living (


            And a third found that Russians are now focusing far more on the continuing decline in the value of the ruble than they are on the Russian annexation of Crimea (


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