Saturday, July 31, 2021

Russians Value Free Education and Free Healthcare Far More than Right to Form Organizations, HSE Data Show

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 25 – The Higher School of Economics monitors public attitudes to a wide variety of issues, and Svetlana Saltanova of the HSE’s IQ portal offers a survey of the latest, which show among other things that Russians today value free education and healthcare far more than they do the right to form public organizations.

            Sixty percent of Russians say that free education is their most valued right, with only two percent fewer listing free medicine, she reports the data show. Rounding out the top five are the right to life (51 percent), right to work (50 percent), and social security for the elderly and infirm (49 percent) (

            Far fewer Russians point to freedom of speech (38 percent), the right to move freely about the country (31 percent), and freedom of religion (24 percent) as important to them. And only 19 percent say that they want to take part in running the state or society, Saltanova continues.

            Eighty-nine percent of Russians say NGOs are important, but they have little direct experience of their operations. Only 28 percent of Russians say they have heard anything about NGO activities in their places of residence – and that number is as high as it is only because it is much higher in large cities while remaining very low elsewhere.

            Almost half (49 percent) have positive feelings about Russian citizenship, while only 24 percent have negative ones. What is perhaps most striking is that “almost every fourth person has no feelings of attachment to Russia at all,” the editor says.

            And Russians much prefer to give charity directly rather than through organizations, but this may be an artefact of the reality that while 23 percent of Russians take part in volunteer organizations of one kind or another, 80 percent of those do not consider themselves as volunteers. Only nine percent make that link.


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