Levada Poll: 1/2 of Russians Support Idea of ‘Russia for Russians,’ About 1/5 Would Not Let in Chinese, Ukrainians

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – Sept. 23, 2020)

Slightly more than half (51%) of Russians either support implementing the idea of “Russia for [ethnic] Russians” or think it would be good to implement “within reasonable limits,” according to a Levada Center poll of 1,600 people in 137 localities across 50 of Russia’s 80-plus regions conducted Aug. 20-26, 2020. This represents a decline of 4 percentage points compared to August 2019 when 55% of Russians held this view. In the 19 years that the independent pollster has been asking Russians for their opinions about the idea of “Россия для русских,” or “Russia for [ethnic] Russians,” (2002-2020), the share of respondents who supported its implementation—with or without “reasonable limits”—peaked in October 2013 (66%) and was lowest in July 2017 (45%). With the exception of 2017-2018 the share of Russians who supported implementing this idea never fell below 50% (see table below).

In addition to polling Russians on this idea, Levada also asked them about their attitudes toward specific ethnic groups, one region (Central Asia) and one continent (Africa). The share of Russians who are willing to see Chinese among their family members, close friends and neighbors increased from 18% in August 2019 to 19% in August 2020, according to the poll. The same period saw the share of Russians who would not let Chinese into Russia decrease from 25% to 22%. Some 19% of Russians would not Ukrainians into Russia, according to the poll. This is 3 percentage points more than in August 2019. Attitudes toward Jews became more negative, though not significantly: The share of Russians who would bar Jews from entering Russia increased from 12% to 13% year on year, according to the poll, while the share of Russians willing to see them among their family members, friends, colleagues and residents of Russia decreased from 69% to 68%.

The poll results are translated below.

What is your attitude toward the idea of Russia for [ethnic] Russians? (only one response allowed, %)

What is your attitude toward the idea of Russia for [ethnic] Russians? (only one response allowed, %)

I support it; it’s high time it were implemented It would be good to implement, but within reasonable limits Negative; it is real fascism I am not interested Difficult to say
Aug. 2020 19 32 29 15 5
July 2019 23 32 27 13 6
July 2018 19 30 30 18 3
July 2017 10 30 27 24 9
July 2016 14 38 21 21 6
Aug. 2015 16 35 25 16 8
July 2014 18 36 27 14 5
Oct. 2013 23 43 19 9 6
Nov. 2012 15 41 23 14 6
Nov. 2011 19 40 23 11 7
Jan. 2011 15 43 24 13 5
Nov. 2009 18 36 32 9 5
Oct. 2008 15 42 25 12 7
Aug. 2007 14 41 27 11 7
Aug. 2006 17 37 28 11 7
Aug. 2004 22 37 25 12 5
July 2002 17 38 28 10 7

How close are you willing to see Jews? (only one response allowed, %)

August
2010
July
2018
August
2019
August
2020
Willing to see them among your family members 2 6 12 13
Willing to see them among your close friends 3 8 10 10
Willing to see them among neighbors 8 13 12 13
Willing to see them among colleagues at work 9 6 7 7
Willing to see them among the residents of Russia 27 32 28 25
I would let them into Russia only temporarily 17 11 12 14
I wouldn’t let them into Russia 17 15 12 13
Difficult to say 16 10 7 6

How close are you willing to see Chinese? (one response only allowed, %)

August
2010
July
2018
August
2019
August
2020
Willing to see them among your family members 1 2 4 5
Willing to see them among your close friends 1 5 6 5
Willing to see them among neighbors 5 8 8 9
Willing to see them among colleagues at work 5 4 6 7
Willing to see them among the residents of Russia 13 20 19 16
I would let them into Russia only temporarily 30 27 28 30
I wouldn’t let them into Russia 32 27 25 22
Difficult to say 13 9 5 6

How close are you willing to see Africans (dark-skinned)? (only one response allowed, %)

August 2010 July
2018
August
2019
August 2020
Willing to see them among your family members 1 1 2 3
Willing to see them among your close friends 1 3 5 4
Willing to see them among neighbors 5 6 5 6
Willing to see them among colleagues at work 5 2 4 4
Willing to see them among the residents of Russia 15 17 18 17
I would let them into Russia only temporarily 29 27 31 31
I wouldn’t let them into Russia 26 33 30 28
Difficult to say 18 10 5 6

How close are you willing to see Central Asians? (Tajiks, Uzbeks) (only one response allowed, %)

August
2010
July
2018
August
2019
August
2020
Willing to see them among your family members 1 2 3 4
Willing to see them among your close friends 1 3 4 4
Willing to see them among neighbors 4 6 6 7
Willing to see them among colleagues at work 4 3 4 5
Willing to see them among the residents of Russia 18 19 22 18
I would let them into Russia only temporarily 29 30 30 33
I wouldn’t let them into Russia 29 30 29 26
Difficult to say 13 6 4 4

How close are you willing to see Ukrainians? (only one response allowed, %)

August
2010
July
2018
August
2019
August
2020
Willing to see them among your family members 5 6 11 11
Willing to see them among your close friends 4 6 8 7
Willing to see them among neighbors 10 8 10 11
Willing to see them among colleagues at work 6 3 5 5
Willing to see them among the residents of Russia 31 29 28 23
I would let them into Russia only temporarily 20 20 19 22
I wouldn’t let them into Russia 13 22 16 19
Difficult to say 12 7 4 3

How close are you willing to see Gypsies? (only one response allowed, %)

August
2010
July
2018
August
2019
August
2020
Willing to see them among your family members 1 1 2 3
Willing to see them among your close friends 1 1 2 2
Willing to see them among neighbors 3 5 5 4
Willing to see them among colleagues at work 2 1 2 1
Willing to see them among the residents of Russia 24 23 29 23
I would let them into Russia only temporarily 19 18 16 19
I wouldn’t let them into Russia 35 43 41 44
Difficult to say 15 8 5 5

How close are you willing to see Chechens? (only one response allowed, %)

August
2010
July
2018
August
2019
August
2020
Willing to see them among your family members 1 2 3 4
Willing to see them among your close friends 1 4 5 5
Willing to see them among neighbors 4 7 7 8
Willing to see them among colleagues at work 3 2 4 3
Willing to see them among the residents of Russia 22 31 34 32
I would let them into Russia only temporarily 19 19 16 18
I wouldn’t let them into Russia 38 27 27 26
Difficult to say 13 9 5 5

 

Photo by David Trilling: Russian nationalist rally in Moscow, Nov. 4, 2014.

Article also appeared, with different images, at russiamatters.org/blog/levada-poll-12-russians-support-idea-russia-russians-about-15-would-not-let-chinese-ukrainians, with different images, bearing the notice: “© Russia Matters 2018 … This project has been made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York,” with a footer heading entitled “Republication Guidelines” linking to: russiamatters.org/node/7406, which bears the notice, in part: