Friday, January 20, 2023

Ukraine War has Reduced Levels of Interpersonal Trust in Russia Still Further Opening Way for More Snitching, Zubov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 16 – Because of their totalitarian past, Russians display much less trust in each other than do peoples in other countries, and these levels in Russia have fallen further in recent months because of economic difficulties and the war in Ukraine, Ivan Zubov says. One indication of this is a rising tide of snitching and denunciations.

            The Novyye izvestiya journalist says that several years ago, an international survey found that 65 percent of Swedes trusted other Swedes while only 25 percent of Russians trusted other Russians. Now, because of recent developments and events, that number is certainly lower (

            Compared to societies where interpersonal trust is high, those like Russia’s where it is low are given to spy mania, mass denunciations, censorship, willingness to tolerate siloviki in power, constant investigations, and unending displays of antagonism toward all beyond one’s immediate circle, Zubov continues.

            The level of public trust may not be the underlying cause of snitching and denunciations, he suggests; but it is clearly the proximate cause of that phenomenon in Russia today.

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