Friday, September 10, 2021

By Two to One, Russians Now Want a Well-Off Russia More than a Great Power One, Levada Poll Finds

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 10 – Sixty-six percent of Russians say they would like to see Russia be a country with a high standard of living even if it isn’t one of the most powerful countries on earth, while 32 percent say that they want above all that Russia be a great power and recognized as such by others, a new Levada Center poll says.

            According to the Center, “the fraction of those who want to see Russia in the first instance a country with a high standard of living has been growing since 2015 and has now reached the maximum share.” At the same time, those who want it to be a great power above all has declined to its lowest share yet (

            The idea that Russia should be in the first instance a country with a high standard of living dominates all age groups, but those between the ages of 18 and 24 are more inclined to take that view (74 percent). Those 55 and over are more inclined to support the notion that Russia should above all be a great power.

            Thirty-nine percent of those who identify as supporters of Vladimir Putin say they want to see Russia above all as a great power, but 59 percent of them say they favor its being a country with a high standard of living. Among Putin opponents, 79 percent favor the idea that Russia should be a country with a high standard of living.

            This Levada Center poll also found that 49 percent would favor the restoration of the Soviet political system, the highest figure since the early 2000s. Eighteen percent say they favor the current political system, and 16 percent say they favor a political system of “democracy on the Western model.”

            The Soviet political system is most popular among those 55 and above, with almost two thirds (62 percent) saying they favor it. The present system is backed most heavily by those between 25 and 39, with 22 percent. But 32 percent of those between 18 and 24 favor a Western style democracy.

            Almost two-thirds of Russians – 62 percent – favor state planning and distribution. This is the highest level of such approval ever recorded by the Levada Center. Only 24 percent of the sample say they favor a system based on private property and a free market.

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