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THE EVENTS IN 1989

This survey was carried out July 18–24, 2019 with a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample comprised 1605 people age 18 or older from 137 localities in 50 regions of the Russian Federation. 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%

LET’S TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED 30 YEARS AGO. WHICH OF THE EVENTS IN 1989 SEEM MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU? (in 1989 the survey form had respondents write in their own answers; in 2004–2019 respondents were given a card with a list of answers, and they could choose more than one and/or write in their own; ranked in descending order according to July 2019)

  Dec. 89 Dec. 04 Aug. 09 Jan. 14 Jul. 19
Completion of the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan* 22 17 50 33 54
Fall of the Berlin Wall, opening the border between East and West Germany -** 26 24 25 24
Miners’ strike 27 23 22 16 19
Increase in pensions 27 14 12 8 18
Conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region 13 14 17 12 15
First meeting of Gorbachev and Bush (senior) 34 10 7 6 11
AIDS outbreaks in different cities throughout the country 19 20 14 9 10
Railway accident in the Bashkir ASSR 17 12 8 8 9
Andrei Sakharov’s death -** 13 13 9 8
Elections to the Congress of People’s Deputies of the USSR 23 7 5 5 8
First Congress of People’s Deputies 24 7 5 3 6
Political changes in Eastern European countries 9 6 6 4 5
Dispersal of demonstrations in Tbilisi 10 6 5 3 5
Clashes on land belonging to ethnic groups in the Ferghana Valley 8 4 5 2 4
Second Congress of People’s Deputies of the USSR 20 2 2 2 2
Other events 2 3 2 1 4
It is difficult to say 4 21 21 37 19

* In 1989 and 2004: “Andrei Sakharov’s speech on the war in Afghanistan”
** Not included in the answer list

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

The ANO Levada Center has been 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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