Russians consider the situation in their country the best in five years

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April 20, 2015

Russians consider the situation in their country the best in five years

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

The Russians’ positive assessment of the situation in their
country had reached their maximum value in five years, according to VTsIOM
data.

The social attitudes index which reflects the assessment of
situation inside the country reached 70% in March, which is a record in the
history of the index. In March 2010 the index was at 22 points, while in
January 2015—64 points. The situation in Russia is assessed most favorably by
men aged 35-44, and also rural residents.

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According to VTsIOM, Russians had rated their own personal
situation even more highly. In March that indicator reached 81 points, even
though it dropped by three points by comparison with February. Young people
aged 18-24 were the most likely to give positive assessments of their own
situation, as did well-off respondents.

The VTsIOM General Director Valeriy Fyodorov commented the
results of the survey saying that Russians, in spite of the crisis, have a
positive assessment of the state of the economy. Moreover, the results were
influenced by the Olympics and the reunification with Crimea. “The economic
crisis is not so severe, the expectations were much worse…Moreover, the
Russians’ self-assessment, self-respect had also grown over the course last
year. This is directly connected with Crimea, with the conflict in Ukraine,
with the fact that we are not merely competing with the US but are in conflict
with it which, in the opinion of the majority of Russians, means the two
countries are on a par with each other.”

According to the survey data, the index of social
expectations had also increased (by 20 points in comparison with January, from
-70 to -50). Moreover, in spite of its growth, it is still far lower than a
year ago, when it was only -25.

VTsIOM explained these positive developments by the two-fold
increase in the number of people (up to 11%) who believe that the worst of the
crisis is behind us. Every third respondent said that the worst of the crisis is
happening right now, while 41% believe that the worst is still ahead. The most
pessimistically oriented were the poorer Russians and the supporters of the
Just Russia party.

The survey was conducted on March 28-29. The sample included
1600 residents of 46 of Russia’s regions. Statistical error is not higher than
3.5%.

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