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Xenophobia and Nationalism in State Power

Compared to previous measurements, nationalist sentiment has somewhat weakened. Thus, 27% of respondents agree that “a non-Russian person cannot be a true patriot of Russia”” 69% disagree with this statement. The share of those who disagree with the provision of benefits to Russians in Russia has increased. 36% believe that Russians in Russia should have advantages in holding public positions, 56% of respondents believe that ethnic Russians should not have such advantages. Nationalist sentiments are somewhat less common among the youngest respondents and those who use online publications and Telegram to get information.

 

To measure the level of xenophobia, respondents were offered several statements.

In the 25 years that have passed since the first measurement, the distribution of opinions on the question that “a non-Russian person cannot be a true patriot of Russia” has practically not changed: 27% agree with this statement, 69% disagree.

Among the age groups, the largest share of those who disagree with this statement is represented by respondents aged 18-24 and 40-54: a fifth (21%) and a quarter (25%) agree, three quarters (75%) and 72% disagree.

In the whole country, 38% of respondents agree with the statement that “ethnic Russians in Russia should have certain advantages over everyone else”, 59% disagree. Since 2015, the share of those who agree has decreased slightly, while there is a noticeable increase in the share of those who disagree.

30% of respondents aged 18-24 agree with this statement, 69% disagree. In the other groups, agreement and disagreement are approximately on the same level.

36% believe that Russians in Russia should have advantages in holding public positions, 56% of respondents believe that ethnic Russians should not have such advantages. Compared to August 2018, the share of supporters of the first position decreased by 10%, the share of supporters of the second position increased by 12.

There are no significant differences among the age groups.

42% of respondents believe that when appointing to public positions in the Russian government, the nationality of a person should be taken into account, slightly more than half (53%) believe that this should not be done. Since 1997, the share of Russians who support this opinion has been gradually decreasing.

Respondents aged 18-24 stand out among the age groups: a third (35%) of them agree that nationality should be taken into account when appointing to a position in the Russian government, 62% disagree. In other age categories, support is about 43%.

METHODOLOGY

The survey by the Levada Center was conducted January 17 – February 21, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1626 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 is included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents.

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