Staunton, Jan. 18 – Young Russians overwhelmingly get their ideas about the Soviet past from their parents and other older people who even more overwhelmingly stress the positive aspects of that period than its negative ones, according to the results of a new Public Opinion Foundation poll.
As a result, there is not the radical change in assessments from one generation to the next that there is in modern societies but rather an enormous continuity, something more typical of traditional societies where knowledge and assessments are passed down from one generation to the next, the survey found (fom.ru/Proshloe/14823).
That pattern undoubtedly is something the Putin regime welcomes especially as it calls into question the widespread assumption among more liberal Russians and people in the West that Russia will change as younger generations displace older ones and bring new ideas to the fore.
But if that finding of the survey is welcome, another may not be. Russians of all age groups had a positive view of the Soviet past not as Putin does because the USSR was a super power and feared by others but because its social and economic system is viewed by the Russian people as more just (ng.ru/editorial/2023-01-18/2_8637_red.html).
Thus the oft-remarked-upon nostalgia Russians display about the Soviet period may help the Kremlin leader in one way but threaten him in another.