Russia blogger/retired Canadian diplomat Patrick Armstrong highlights a big new poll from Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung/Levada in his latest Russia Sitrep:
RUSSIAN YOUTH. It’s a widespread delusion, strengthened by the narrow circle Western reporters talk to in Russia, that “the government’s anti-Western agenda and reports of widespread corruption are turning young Russians against the leader.”Levada has done a survey of Russian youth and that’s pretty hard to find; in general they’re not far off their parents: a bit more liberal but also a bit more nationalist. Perhaps the most interesting result was that a solid majority thought Russia was not European. Robinson discusses. He wonders why so few show much support for “‘classical’ civil and political liberties”. My guess is that 20 years of observation of Western practice of these noble ideals has soured them.
Main points of interest:
1. Young Russian are both more nationalist and more liberal than Russians as a whole – as indeed I have argued before, based on voting patterns. However, unlike voting for the KPRF, it looks like there’s no difference in Communist views.
2. There is little sign of convergence to progressive American/West European norms. Quoting Robinson:
This is reflected in the fact most respondents said that they were proud to be Russian, while only 14% felt that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a good thing. Around 50% agree with the statement that, ‘Real Russians are only those who have Russian blood in their veins’, and there is a large majority which believes that Russia should not accept more immigrants or refugees. Around 15% expressed a desire to emigrate (a much smaller number than has been pushed around in some earlier reports). The primary reason cited for emigration is the possibility of earning more money in the West. This suggests that the West still has some appeal for young Russians. However, the younger generation doesn’t feel Western, as can be seen by responses to the question ‘Do you fully agree, rather agree, rather disagree, or strongly disagree with the statement “Russia is a European country”?’ As the chart below shows, only 36% ‘rather’ or ‘fully’ agree, whereas 58% ‘rather’ or ‘fully’ disagree. This provides little succour to those who hope that the young generation will turn Russia in a European direction. …
Incidentally, Putin has just confirmed that as well:
Scientific victory is the best victory in Civilizationhttps://t.co/gaQnHOcyTS
— RT (@RT_com) May 17, 2020
80% of them consider that it would be a ‘bad’ thing if a homosexual individual or couple moved into their neighbourhood. On the other hand, heterosexual activity before marriage doesn’t seem to bother them.
So much for hopes that Navalny (or someone even more liberal) will replace Putin.
Keep on looking forwards. There are only three realistic alternatives after Putin, in order of decreasing likelihood:
1) Appointed successor to Putin.
2) A populist-nationalist in the mold of Orban or Netanyahu.
3) Right-wing death squadshttps://t.co/C0swpjgBL4
— 🇷🇺 ANATꙮLY 🤔 KARLIN (@akarlin88) January 16, 2019
And just to (again) clear up a couple of long-running canards:
No, Muslim minorities are not “replacing” Russians (9% amongst young people vs. 8% population average).
No, there’s no indications that we should expect a wave of emigration – only 15% “strongly” want to emigrate.