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Russians prefer stability, order and sovereignty - VTSIOM opinion poll

August 16, 2016, 1:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Sixty-nine percent of respondents said the state should consolidate its role in society compared to 22% who stressed the need to liberalize all spheres of public life

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© Eugene Kurskov / TACC

MOSCOW, August 15 /TASS/. Society’s interests are vital for most Russians who also believe that the government’s task is to strengthen the country’s sovereignty, stability and order, a public opinion poll suggests.

The survey carried out by the Russian public opinion research center called VTSIOM revealed that most Russians are guided by public interests in their everyday lives: out of a list of personal characteristics, which was offered to them, most respondents (77%) chose a quality, which portrays them as people who want to do something good for society; protect nature and care for environment. Another type of a person - who dreams of becoming rich, big money and success in life and career of which all other people should be aware - appeals to only 17% of the polled.

Sociologists attribute this "preoccupation with public interests" to security concerns and respect for traditions (58%) rather than to adventurism or a desire to explore the unknown (35%). Fifty-eight percent of respondents said it was vitally important for them to live in security …and follow the traditions and customs observed in their family or by religion; behave themselves in a proper manner and refrain from doing something, what other people would not approve of.

According to most Russians (72%), the Russian authorities should focus on strengthening the country’s sovereignty; only 20% of those polled gave a priority to strengthening international ties. Also, 59% of Russian citizens want Russia to be a great power, which can influence global processes compared to 33% who do not set such ambitious goals.

Most Russians, according to VTSIOM, want stability (63%) and order (66%). Sixty-nine percent of respondents said the state should consolidate its role in society compared to 22% who stressed the need to liberalize all spheres of public life.

Thirty percent of the respondents replied that the country needed change. The most controversial issue, as the poll revealed, is how to introduce this change: from the above (49%) or from below (42%). At the same time, 40% of respondents spoke in favor of progressive socio-economic development (They agreed that it is necessary to move forward to a modern economy and way of life without looking back at the anachronistic past); 49% of respondents would prefer a return to traditions.

"Two years after the country entered another phase of sharp confrontation with the West and another spiral of economic crisis, most Russians are sticking to the values, which will help them to "avoid defeat". They are inclined to be satisfied with stability, fear fast change and believe that state sovereignty will guarantee the country’s survival in the world arena," VTSIOM’s Director-General Valery Fyodorov said.

"There are just two issues, which split the public opinion almost in half: should society return to historical roots or embark on a path of progressive development and how changes should be introduced - by an "iron fist" or by means of consultations with ordinary people," Fyodorov stressed.

The VTSIOM survey was carried out in 130 populated localities in 46 Russian regions on July 23-24, 2016 with 1,600 participants by means of personal formal interviews taken at the place of residence. The participants aged 18 and older than 18 have various education and live in various types of populated localities.

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