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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
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 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 Federation Council||25||34||26||15||-18|
|Local (municipal) authorities||27||34||29||9||-19|
|The State Duma||23||40||32||5||-29|
|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.