Saturday, January 28, 2023

Russians Want Change but Believe Only Powers can Produce It so Regime has No Good Reason to Make Changes and Can Survive Without Doing So, MGIMO Study Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 27 – The Russian foreign ministry’s elite training and research center, MGIMO, recently conducted 48 focus groups across the country to find out what Russians see as the main problems and how they see them being resolved. The answers, Pavel Pryanikov says, offer little encouragement to those who hope for change.

            According to the Russian commentator (, the MGIMO study reached seven major conclusions:

·       People want changes but neither society nor business is capable of becoming ‘change agents.’ Only the state can play that role.

·       No one wants radical changes lest they threaten what they have achieved over the last 30 years.

·       The population has a largely negative view of the bosses.

·       The opposition is irrelevant and was seldom mentioned.

·       Young Russians are the most upset about their country being cut off from the world.

·       Most Russians have a schizophrenic view of Moscow, seeing it as a negative oppressor but also wanting all the regions of the country to be like it.

·       Putin is the only leader Russians even mention.


The MGIMO study also concluded that the war in Ukraine has had little impact on the consciousness of Russians. Their faith in a good tsar who serves as a sacred function remains in place. Moreover, “the people don’t view itself as a subject of politics;” and there is no inclination to protest even among the young.

            Given such a society, Pryanikov says, “there is no reason for the elites to think about change.” The only thing that might change that would be a radical decline in the availability of food and consumer goods of short term need. That is what shook the USSR to its foundations; but today, Russians have far more options to ensure that they get these goods of first necessity.

            And because that is the case, the current regime is likely to be able to continue in power without any fundamental changes for as long into the future as one can see, the commentator concludes.

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