Overview: Russia National Survey

Publication Date: 
30 Sep 1995

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Summary Political Environment

         Voters are extremely dissatisfied with the current situation in Russia. Overall, 87% are dissatisfied and 75% say they are very dissatisfied.

         The economy is seen as the number one problem facing the country. Other perceived problems include quality of life issues, peace, lack of political leadership, and ethnic conflicts.

         Other concerns that receive a substantial number of mentions include inflation, crime, standard of living, the situation in Chechnya, unemployment, general instability in the country, economic decline, and social and moral decay.

         Overall, the electorate displays a low level of interest in politics and government. Fewer than one in three voters (32%) are interested in such matters while 66% say they are not.

         Voters are pessimistic about both the political and economic situations over the next two or three years and a plurality say these areas will worsen during that period.

         Concerns about the economy result in 52% saying that the country should return to a system where the state controls much of the economy while only 17% call for the reform process to continue.

         A plurality of voters, led by young people, now view Russia as a democracy (47%). Many (41 %) do not, however, and this sentiment is the main view among those age 45 and older. Further, only 3% say the country is primarily a democracy.

         Voters are divided on the subject of whether political power in Russia should be centralized (33%) or decentralized (34%).

         The United States (13%) is the number one foreign country Russians look to as a model for the nation's development. A plurality (30%) say that Russia serves as its own best model. Another 7% look to the Soviet Union as a model for development.

         Voters say that Russia would benefit more from an orientation toward the West (28%) than the East (7%). However, 32% say Russia would not benefit from either orientation.

         The media will play a key role in the upcoming elections. A majority of voters (53%) rely on the media for their voting information and National Channel One (87%) and Channel Two (81 %) are perceived as being the most useful. Newspapers (69%) are also seen as an important source.

 

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