Citizens of Russia have changed their views on what needs to be the leader of the country and its policies, says a group of experts under the leadership of Mikhail Dmitriev.
In the minds of Russians had been broken. So in General terms, we can describe the result of deep sociological research conducted by a group of renowned sociologist and economist Mikhail Dmitriev and his colleagues, psychologists Anastasia Nikolskaya and Elena Cherepanova, as well as economist Sergei Belanovsky in October 2018. The presentation of the report on the results of this study took place in the Moscow press center “Rosbalta” on Monday.
Change in consciousness, in question, is that the Russians began to emerge a completely new queries that used in similar studies hardly viewed. To a certain extent, we can say that people were eating a strong leader, and at the same time increased the request for respect, for honesty in domestic politics and, ironically, on the peacefulness on the outside.
This is the second study of Dmitriev and his colleagues (the first was in may). “And they both surprised us”, — he said. In the spring of this year, the experts found the Russians have a tendency to “disappointment in a strong leader, who could come and clean up the mess, being endowed with almost unlimited powers”.
Prior to this, as noted by the sociologist, such a hope was, but “in may, only 5% of respondents said that they are waiting for some improvements from the state and about the same number said that still I hope for a strong leader.” The others began to look for other solutions to their problems. In particular, began to show interest in alternative type of leadership. Respondents said that “the leader that they are ready to go, needs to show respect to people (a request for respect), honesty, ability to admit their mistakes, to act in the interests of the people should know firsthand how people live, to be democratic and peaceful.” According to Dmitriev, “this is a new set of values, which emerged as a priority only in October of this year.”
The expert reminded that according to the survey “Levada-center” in August, the citizens called important are quality national leader as “hardness, tenacity, toughness, charm”. Today, he says, these qualities of the head of state “people seem less of a priority”. However, Anastasia Nikolskaya said that the Russians do not have the opportunity to see new leaders.
Another participant in the discussion of the report, the head of “Levada-Center” Lev Gudkov noted that, according to opinion polls, Putin in the minds of Russians remains “uncontested leader, but the level of support has fallen by about a quarter.” At the same time, “the construction that takes place in the minds of Russians and that is that our country needs a strong hand, is preserved for almost 80% of the population.” Of these, 58% of respondents believe that a strong leader our country needs always, and in such special situations as it is now, the need for such a leader feel another 21% of the population.
“Thus, 79% of respondents believe that a strong leader is needed, because only he is able to control the bureaucracy and to protect the country from enemies surrounded them, according to 81% of the population, it is,” — says Gudkov.
Existing with irritation “is transferred to other levels and branches of government,” said the head of “Levada-Center”.
It is also important that our fellow citizens “have no idea how to change it, and no willingness to participate in this,” said Gudkov. This generally overlaps with Dmitriev claims that, despite the appearance of the people new requests to politicians and policy carried out by the team the study found that “there is no settings to aggression towards authorities and have no desire for decisive action against the authorities.” At the same time, he said, “that really creates a problem, this decline of public confidence in government and loss of confidence of power to the people”.
The reduction of confidence in the government in recent times largely due to conducted this summer by the pension reform, which the sociologist compared to “the lightning, trapped in a dry forest.” He recalled that in the may study conducted by his group, “we found an increase in respondents of critical perception of reality, as well as strengthening the request for justice expressed in the desire for redistribution of wealth”. Not only from rich to poor but also to middle layers.
The biggest surprise in the autumn study group Dmitrieva, he said, was a request for a peaceful foreign policy. In may, he noted, respondents clearly expressed support for the country’s foreign policy and “only in the poor towns people began to say that this is costly to us foreign policy (state) and it would be better to direct these resources to ourselves.” But overall it did not change the overall trend.
However, in October, says Dmitriev, “dramatically increased the number of people, most were conducted in all the focus groups from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk, in different social and age groups — students, retirees, working people middle age who said that the foreign policy of the state becomes too expensive and it would be better to direct those resources inside the country.” Another critical view expressed on this subject was that the foreign policy of the Russian Federation causes the sanctions, which also affects the quality of life of citizens.
According to political analyst Nikolai Petrov, who also participated in the debate today do not change the values of Russian citizens, and their mood. He offered to share the values of the declared and real. For example, “we are all for peace, but in Eastern Ukraine there is a war, which involves, in particular, and our country-sponsored groups,” he said. “If we had cases of serious meaningful actions, which would put in the top corner not in the abstract, the words “we want peace”, namely that?” — rhetorically asked political analyst.
At the same time, during the discussion I remembered that the mass protests against the war in Ukraine in 2014-2015 years, Russia still held true, for the most part in Moscow. It was said that the public protest against the foreign policy of the state, especially a foreign policy, which is typical for the current Russian Federation is perceived in the country not just as a protest against a particular policy, but as a protest against the state itself. Ours, yet sufficiently statist-minded society is largely perceived as a sacrilege.
However, today, no one can say with certainty how to react to the Russian society, for example, a full-scale war between Russia and Ukraine. In any case, opinion polls on the subject are eloquent. Lev Gudkov in this connection, recalled that in 2014, about 75% of Russians were for the direct intervention of Russia against Ukraine, then in January of 2017, their number was reduced to 20%.
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