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What do Russians think Russia should be like?

Two-thirds (66%) of Russians would like to see Russia first of all “a country with a high standard of living, even if not one of the most powerful countries in the world.” A third of Russians (32%) want to see the country as “a great power that is respected and feared by other countries.” The share of those who want to see Russia primarily as a country with a high standard of living has been gradually growing since 2015 and has reached its peak in the entire history of observations. The share of those who want to see the country primarily as a “great power”, in turn, has reached its lowest point.

The opinion that Russia should mainly be a country with a high standard of living leads in all age groups, however it is most common among respondents aged 18-24 (three quarters – 74%) The image of a “great power” is supported mostly by Russians aged 55 and older: 39%.

More than a third (39%) of people supporting the president want to see Russia as a great power first of all. 59% prefer a country with a high standard of living. Among those who do not approve of the activities of V. Putin, the image of “a country with a high standard of living” is absolutely dominating. 

Half of Russians (49%) would prefer the Soviet political system – this is the highest number since the early 2000s. 18% chose the current political system – the share of respondents who chose this option has almost halved since 2015. 16% believe that the best political system is “the Western model of democracy”.

The “Soviet” political system is the most popular among respondents 55 years and older – almost two-thirds (62%). The current system is most suitable for Russians aged 25-39 (22%). A third (32%) of respondents aged 18-24 prefer “the Western model of democracy”.

Almost two-thirds of Russians (62%) believe that the better economic system should incorporate state planning and distribution. This indicator reached its maximum in the entire history of observations. 24% are inclined to a system based on private property and market relations.


This survey was conducted August 19 – 26 2021, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1619 people aged 18 or older in 137 municipalities of 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 total number of participants along with data from previous surveys.

The statistical error of these studies for a sample 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 ANO Levada Center has been included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents.


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