Press-releases

Institutional trust

This survey took place between September 20–26, 2018 and was conducted throughout all of Russia in both urban and rural settings. The survey was carried out among 1600 people over the age of 18 in 136 localities of 52 of the country’s regions. The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the number of participants along with data from previous surveys.

The statistical error of these studies for a selection of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed:

3.4% for indicators around 50%
2.9% for indicators around 25%/75%
2.0% for indicators around 10%/90%
1.5% for indicators around 5%/95%

The question of trust in government agencies and public organizations aims to uncover the level of public trust in institutions, i.e. which institutions the public tends to trust, and which it doesn’t. This is a dynamic question, and it allows us to follow changes in the declared level of trust. For the sake of convenience during analysis, an index is built demonstrating a kind of “balance” between positive and negative ratings of various institutions, which allows us to rank them according to their trustworthiness: from institutions with high levels of trustworthiness to institutions whose actions the public considers untrustworthy.

Results from the 2018 survey show important changes in public opinion. First, over the last six years, the army has, for the first time, “overtaken” the president in its level of trustworthiness. The proportion of Russians who believe the army “fully deserves” their trust is 66%, while this measure of trustworthiness is 58% for the president (versus 69% and 75% in 2017 respectively). Second, the value of the “trustworthiness index” for the president has dropped by nearly half over the last year. Overall, the level of trust in the president is regressing to the same levels as those recorded in 2013. Similar “regressions” are noted in relation to the Federation Council and the State Duma. Trust in the government decreased even more notably, with the value of its “trustworthiness index” in 2018 falling even lower than that of the 2012-2013 “protest” period.  Interestingly, Russians’ trust in “security” forces (army, intelligence agencies, police) remains virtually unchanged, i.e. their trustworthiness indicators, having substantially risen after 2014, remain at their previous level.

Please note that the “trustworthiness” indicator is more sensitive than the “approval” indicator; respondents will more readily say that they “approve,” while they stop to consider before declaring their “trust” or lack thereof. Therefore, “trustworthiness” indicators for institutions are, as a rule, always lower than indicators of “approval” for their actions (these are different indicators and should not be compared to each other; instead, they can only be compared to themselves to analyze trends in levels of approval and trust).

Dymanics of Trust in Institutions

IN YOUR OPINION, HOW TRUSTWORTHY ARE THE PRESIDENT AND THE FOLLOWING GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS? (respondents were presented with a card from which they could choose one answer per line; ranked in descending order according to the column “completely trustworthy” for 2018)

  Completely trustworthy Somewhat trustworthy Not at all trustworthy It is difficult to say
2012 2017 2018 2012 2017 2018 2012 2017 2018 2012 2017 2018
The military 39 69 66 38 19 18 15 6 10 8 6 7
The president 51 75 58 32 19 27 13 4 13 4 3 2
The FSB/other intelligence agencies 33 57 50 38 25 20 14 7 14 15 11 16
The church, religious organizations 50 48 48 29 24 19 10 11 18 12 17 14
Russian charitable organizations 34 38 31 26 15 18 20 19
The press, radio, television 26 30 31 50 48 38 16 15 24 7 8 7
The police 20 30 31 44 46 38 29 17 24 7 7 8
Small and medium-sized Russian businesses 24 29 30 44 37 33 18 19 19 14 15 18
The Public Prosecutor’s Office 23 33 29 42 37 31 21 16 25 15 14 16
Regional authorities 23 31 29 44 43 35 24 19 26 9 7 10
The courts 23 26 28 42 43 33 24 19 25 12 13 14
The government 29 35 27 41 40 37 22 20 31 8 6 5
Local (municipal) authorities 19 27 27 45 44 34 27 23 29 9 6 9
The Federation Council 21 35 25 41 35 34 21 16 26 16 13 15
Russian banks 27 20 25 43 47 34 19 24 30 10 10 12
Labor unions 19 22 24 33 31 24 26 24 27 23 24 25
The State Duma 20 33 23 48 43 40 24 20 32 8 5 5
Large Russian businesses 16 18 16 44 38 32 24 27 34 16 16 18
Political parties 13 19 16 48 45 41 28 27 29 11 9 14

Trust in Institutions in 2018

IN YOUR OPINION, HOW TRUSTWORTHY ARE THE PRESIDENT AND THE FOLLOWING GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS? (respondents were presented with a card from which they could choose one answer per line; ranked in descending order according to the column “Index” — institutions with high levels of trustworthiness are at the beginning of the list, institutions with low levels are at the end)

  Completely trustworthy Somewhat trustworthy Not at all trustworthy It is difficult to say Trustworthiness Index*
The military 66 18 10 7 47
The president 58 27 13 2 31.5
The FSB/other intelligence agencies 50 20 14 16 26
The church, religious organizations 48 19 18 14 20.5
Russian charitable organizations 38 26 18 19 7
Small and medium-sized Russian businesses 30 33 19 18 -5.5
The Public Prosecutor’s Office 29 31 25 16 -11.5
The press, radio, television 31 38 24 7 -12
The police 31 38 24 8 -12
The courts 28 33 25 14 -13.5
Regional authorities 29 35 26 10 -14.5
Labor unions 24 24 27 25 -15
The Federation Council 25 34 26 15 -18
Local (municipal) authorities 27 34 29 9 -19
Russian banks 25 34 30 12 -22
The government 27 37 31 5 -22.5
The State Duma 23 40 32 5 -29
Political parties 16 41 29 14 -33.5
Large Russian businesses 16 32 34 18 -34

* Calculated as the difference between “completely trustworthy” and “not at all trustworthy” – ½ of “somewhat trustworthy.”

Translated by Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (formerly Monterey Institute of International Studies).

The ANO Levada Center has been forcibly included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents. Read the Director of the Levada Center’s statement of disagreement with this decision here.

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