Friday, July 7, 2023

Russians in New Independent States Overwhelmingly Identify with Those States and Not with Russia, New Poll Finds

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 4 – A survey of ethnic Russians in eight former Soviet republics finds that such people overwhelmingly identify with their countries of residence. Members of the older generation sometimes identify with the USSR, but even they do not identify with the Russian Federation of today, according to Aleksey Firsov of the Platform polling agency.

            Nearly two-thirds of the 1350 people questioned said they took pride in the countries where they now live and view the Russian language only as a link to the broader world rather than as a basis for identity (

            According to Firsov, there are two trends which are driving down the numbers of those abroad who identify as Russians: the tendency of young people to change their identity to one based on citizenship rather than ethnicity and the fact that the number of ethnic Russians relative to the local nationalities are falling because of lower birthrates.

            These trends undercut both the claims and the policies of Vladimir Putin who clearly believes that language defines identity and that Russian speakers are Russians who will inevitably identify with the Russian Federation.


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