Staunton, April 22 – Eighteen percent of Russians today say that gays and lesbians “should be liquidated,” according to a new Levada Center poll. The only positive aspect of that horrific figure is that it is in fact a significant decline from the 35 percent who held that view in 1989 and even from the 23 percent who did so in 2012.
That pattern suggests the current numbers are less the result of the anti-gay propaganda measures the Putin government has pushed than the continuing impact of traditionalist attitudes in the Russian population and even their gradual ebbing (evada.ru/2020/04/20/sotsialnaya-distantsiya-2/).
The finding on gays and lesbians was only one of the results of a Levada survey of Russian attitudes on social distancing from various groups. With regard to feminists, nine percent favored liquidation, 18 percent isolation, 13 percent help, and 41 percent leave them alone. With regard to pedophiles, 75 percent favored liquidation and 22 percent isolation.
Regarding extremists and radicals, 44 percent favored liquidation, 37 percent isolation, four percent assistance, and six percent leave them along. And as far as terrorists are concerned, 80 percent favored liquidation, 17 percent isolation, one percent help, and one percent leave them to their own devices.
Two other groups, the homeless and people with HIV/AIDS, generated less hostility. Only two percent of Russians said members of these categories must be liquidated, while 88 percent and 79 percent respectively called for society to provide them with assistance, the survey found.