Saturday, March 20, 2021

Share of Russians Who Think Russia is a European Country Now Down to Less than One in Three

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 18 – The percentage of Russians who believe their country is a European one has fallen from 52 percent in 2008 to 37 percent in 2019 and to 29 percent now, while the fraction maintaining that it isn’t a European country has risen over the same period from 29 percent to 52 percent to 64 percent, according to Levada Center polls.

            Perhaps especially concerning, younger people are less likely to say Russia is a European country than are members of cohorts who grew up in Soviet times and more likely to say that it isn’t, although the differences are relatively small given that young people have a more positive view of the West than older Russians do (

            The Levada Center reports that “the share of Russians who consider themselves personally Europeans is declining although not as rapidly.” In 2008, 35 percent of the residents of the Russian Federation said they considered themselves to be Europeans but now only 27 percent do.

            At the same time, the percentage of Russians who say that the West fears Russia has fallen, from 25 percent in 2018 to 18 percent this year, although the share – 23 percent – who believe that the West is concerned about Russia has remained stable. But the fraction saying the West respects Russia has fallen from 18 percent in 2018 to 12 percent now.

            Thirty percent of Russians polled recently say that Russians do not have any particular feelings about the Wests, down from 41 percent four years ago. Also declining is the share of Russians who respect the West. That figure has fallen from 31 percent in 2019 to 25 percent at the start of this year.

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