Tuesday, August 30, 2022

One Russian in Three Believes Western Civilization and Democracy Unsuitable for Russia, VTsIOM Poll Finds

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 23 – Since Vladimir Putin came to power, the share of Russians having a negative attitude toward Western culture and values has risen significantly, with one in three now telling VTsIOM that Western civilization, democracy and Western culture is not suitable for Russia.

            In addition, 44 percent say the West is having a negative impact on the cultural tastes of Russians and 55 percent add that Russians are in danger of forgetting their own culture because of the influence of models coming from the West (wciom.ru/analytical-reviews/analiticheskii-obzor/vlijanie-zapada-i-rossiiskaja-kultura).

            Fifty-nine percent do not see any value in Western civilization, democracy and culture, with slightly more than half of these saying that it is destructive. The share of Russians who have an alternative view has fallen from 55 percent in 2000, the year Putin became president, to 30 percent now.

            As might be expected, young Russians are somewhat less negative about the West and older ones more so. Those who live in cities as opposed to rural areas, those with more education rather than less and those who use the Internet rather than television follow the same pattern, VTsIOM reports.

            Today, half of all Russians say that they and their co-nations have forgotten their own culture with a majority of those who take this view blaming the influence of Western culture for that development. This pattern is almost identical to what it was in 2000 when VTsIOM began asking these questions.

            In addition, the pollsters found that 44 percent of Russians believe that Western culture has had a negative impact on their artistic tastes, a figure that is up eight percentage points since 2000. “Only nine percent of our fellow citizens,” VTsIOM says, “consider that Western culture doesn’t have any influence on the artistic tastes of Russians.”

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