Friday, April 5, 2024

Conflict with West has Reduced Salience for RF Residents of Disagreements between Ethnic Russians and Non-Russians There, New Moscow Study Reports

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 1 – Surveys conducted by the Moscow Institute of Sociology show that over the last two decades as conflicts between Russia and the West have intensified, residents of the Russian Federation view that conflict as being of overriding importance compared to disagreements between ethnic Russians and non-Russian nationalities.

            That is true for the country as a whole, these studies report, even when one includes attitudes toward immigrants. In some places, such as the major metropolises, public attitudes are moving in a different direction with hostility to migrant workers even more important to ethnic Russians than east-west conflicts.

            For these surveys, see Ilya Dudin’s “The Attitude of the Population of the Country to Basic Social Contradictions of Russian Society’ (in Russian), Sotsiologicheskiy zhurnal 30: 1 (2024): 90-112, full text at as discussed by Yevgeny Chernyshov at

            It is not surprising that the conflict between Russia and the West has overshadowed conflicts between ethnic Russians and non-Russians within the Russian Federation. Such a rallying around the flag is normal in countries which feel themselves to be at odds with other countries.

            And these results are especially not surprising because of the disproportionate numbers of ethnic Russians both in the population of the country and in the survey samples, patterns that mean that the findings Dudin reports reflect the attitudes of ethnic Russians more than they do that of non-Russians.

            Indeed, given reports from other sources about the attitudes of non-Russians toward Russians and Moscow because of the conflict with the West point in the opposite direction, the results Dudin reports may in fact point to a growing gulf between Russians and non-Russians and not its narrowing or disappearance.

            Precisely because so many ethnic Russians feel united against the West, they may be especially angry at those who don’t share their views, including not only dissidents within the Russian nation itself but also non-Russian nations. And such attitudes will only deepen the divide between them and many in the non-Russian third of the population.    

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