February 05, 2024

What Russians Want


What Russians Want
People in Moscow Metro. Christopher Michel, Wikimedia Commons

In a survey conducted by the independent sociological group Russian Field ahead of the March presidential elections, a overwhelming majority of Russians expressed a desire for "social justice" (80%), for Russia to assert itself as a "great power" (76%), and for the country to uphold "human rights, democracy, and freedom of expression" (73%).

The pollsters noted a generational divide in support for democratic values – it was higher among younger respondents. Conversely, there's a growing inclination towards "traditional values" and strong governmental authority.

Gender discrepancies were also apparent. Men were more supportive of a free market, while women expressed stronger preferences for "national greatness" and a return to traditional values.

Persons lacking higher education were more prone to endorse ideas of national power and traditionalism.

As to expectations from the newly elected president, approximately 26.4% of those polled emphasized the need for the president to end Russia's War on Ukraine and establish peace. Nearly 10% wanted to see improvements in income and living standards, while 8.2% advocated for political reforms and changes in governance. A majority found it difficult to answer this question.

Men and non-voters tended to say political reforms should be the president's top priority. Conversely, older individuals, low-income earners, and those lacking higher education said improving living standards was most important. Women, affluent individuals, those with higher education, and non-voters were more likely to prioritize ending the war.

Notably, Boris Nadezhdin has emerged as the only potential presidential anti-war candidate, who has a proposal to end the conflict. His campaign has garnered over 200,000 signatures, surpassing the required 100,000. However, questions have arisen regarding the validity of some signatures, and independent media outlet Meduza has suggested that, unsurprisingly, there is Kremlin resistance to an anti-war candidate in the presidential race.

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