Russians are Poor, Don’t Trust Officials or Fear the West, but Want Putin Kept in Office, Academy of Sciences Survey Shows

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, July 15, 2021)

Russians live in poverty and have the concerns that produces, they don’t trust officials and they don’t fear the West whatever the powers that be say, but despite both of these factors, they want to see Vladimir Putin remain as president, according to a major new study by the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Details of that investigation, conducted last summer in 14 regions of the country, have now been released in a 129-page report summarized by the Znak news agency (испи.рф/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/КЖР50_коллмонография_23.06.pdf and znak.com/2021-07-15/rossiyane_zhivut_v_bednosti_ne_veryat_vlastyam_i_hotyat_chtoby_putin_snova_stal_prezidentom).

Almost all the problems Russians identify as important to them are linked to their poverty, the Academy of Sciences study found, with very few even mentioning “the deterioration of relations with the US and Europe.” That “danger,” it said, simply doesn’t agitate Russians however much the regime talks about it.

The researchers also found that Russians trust few people or institutions beyond their immediate circles. Sixty percent said they don’t trust banks or businessmen, 54 percent said they don’t trust the police, judges or prosecutors, 43 percent say, political parties, and 41 percent trade unions.

Despite this, 47 percent say that Vladimir Putin must run again in 2024. Only 30 percent oppose that, with 23 percent finding it difficult to respond. Znak journalists characterized this combination as “the Russian paradox,” a people unhappy with the way things are and with officials but still deferential to the Kremlin ruler.

[article also appeared at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/07/russians-are-poor-dont-trust-officials.html]