Saturday, May 18, 2024

Russian Attitudes toward Ukrainians, Central Asian Migrants, and Jews have Deteriorated over Last Two Years, Levada Center Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 14 – After improving for most of the last two decades, Russian attitudes toward Ukrainians, Central Asian migrant workers and Jews have deteriorated over the last two years as a result of the war in Ukraine, the involvement of Central Asians in terrorist actions, and the war in the Middle East, the Levada Center reports.

            Over the same period, the polling agency says, the attitudes of residents of the Russian Federation toward Chechens, the Chinese, and Africans have improved (

            “On the whole,” the center says, “the level of ethnophobia remains quite high,” if one makes that conclusion on the basis of Russian answers to questions about what ethnic groups the respondent would like to see restricted from entering Russia or deported although it is lower than it was in 2019 and earlier.

            Sixty-nine percent of Russians favor having the government limit the influx of members of at least one ethnic group into their country, but 24 percent disagree and say that the government should work to assimilate such people so that they can work for the benefit of the Russian Federation.

            At the same time, 89 percent of Russians say that “they ‘rarely’ or ‘never or practically never’ feel hostility to themselves from people of other nationalities;” and an equal percentage say they don’t feel hostility to people of other nationalities, “the lowest level of hostility since 2002” and a dramatic fall from highs in 2010-2013.

            “More than half of those queried (58 percent) say that ‘bloody conflicts on a nationality basis’ in our country are improbable, somewhat down” from earlier. Only in 2011 and 2013 did the number who thought such clashes were probable exceed the share who thought that they were not.

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