Russians Rank Nationality Problems Last among Their Concerns, Levada Center Says
February 27 – Russians now rank nationality problems at the bottom of their
concerns, with only five percent saying they are a worry compared to 62 percent
who point to inflation, 44 percent to increasing poverty, 41 percent who worry
about unemployment, and 34 percent who say they are concerned about
inequalities in wealth, a new Levada Center poll finds.
the economic situation in Russia has deteriorated, Russians are focusing on
their standard of living rather than investing those changes with ethnic
meaning.Last year, for example, seven
percent listed national problems as an issue; now two percent fewer do (levada.ru/2019/02/27/samye-ostrye-problemy-3/).
the one hand, this is an entirely natural development given how difficult life
now is for many Russians especially in comparison with the not too distant
past. But on the other, it raises the question as to whether some Russians will
eventually blame their problems on ethnic groups and especially immigrants as
has happened there before and as occurs elsewhere.
present, most Russians appear to blame the West or their own government for
their difficulties; but if the situation deteriorates further, there are two
worrisome possibilities: Either they will spontaneously begin to invest their
problems with ethnic meaning; or the government will encourage them to do so to
deflect anger away from itself.
the present time, fortunately, this isn’t happening; but xenophobic attitudes
identified by earlier Levada Center polls and xenophobic actions against
minorities and those viewed as outsiders mean that it remains an all too real
possibility, despite the findings of this one survey.