Press release №1857
10.06.2016
RUSSIA IS A GREAT POWER

IN BRIEF

  • One-quarter of Russians (26%) believe that today Russia is a great power
  • half of respondents (49%) think that the country will achieve this status in the coming years
  • The essential prerequisites for becoming one of the leading countries of the world are enhancement of financial well-being of Russians (38%), economic development (37%), and strong armed forces (26%)

Russians believe that Russia is an undisputable world leader. The factors that determines its strength  have changed: more Russians pay attention to the growth of the well-being of citizens rather than the military and foreign policy successes.

MOSCOW, June 10, 2016.  Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) presents the data of the survey describing the role of Russia in the international arena, according to Russian opinions.

Russian citizens give high rating to the position of Russia in the international arena: the share of those who believe that Russia’s influence is essential makes up 75% today: it has slightly changed after hitting the 2014 maximum levels – 82% (after Crimea’s incorporation), however it is still higher than the 2008 record (58%).

Russians mention the priority of Russia’s global objectives such as its return to superpower status (38%) and its strive to be one of ten or fifteen most prosperous countries (40%). Few are satisfied with the status of a leader in the post-Soviet space (9%), and only 7% believe that none of the above-mentioned objectives is important (the share of such respondents is fluctuating between 5-9% across all social and demographic groups).

Every fourth Russian (26% - historical maximum) considers that today Russia is one of the world leading powers.  Forty-nine percent of respondents think that the country will soon achieve this status; 18% have doubts (compared to the sample mean, this share is much higher among non-parliamentary parties’ supporters (37%)).

At the same time, such prerequisites for being a leading power as a highly developed economy (52% in 2014) and a strong army (42%) are less important  at the moment (37% and 26%, respectively) ; what is essential for Russians today is the levels of financial well-being of citizens (38% in 2016, compared to 25% in 2014).

The VCIOM opinion polls were conducted on June 4-5, 2016, in 130 settlements, 46 regions and 9 federal districts of Russia. The sample size was 1600 persons. The survey was conducted with multi-stage stratified sample based on general rule of walking and quotas at the final selection stage; the sample is representative of the Russian population aged 18 and over according to sex, age, education, type of settlement.  The margin of error (taking into account the design effect) with 95% confidence interval does not exceed 3.5%. The survey method is community-based formalized face-to-face interviews. In addition to the sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the field work should be taken into account.

In your opinion, what influence does Russia have in international affairs?  (closed-ended question, one answer,)
  2008 2014 2016
Very strong 14 25 28
Quite strong 44 57 47
Rather weak 18 10 11
Almost no influence 3 3 7
Don’t know 21 5 7
In your opinion, what should Russia pursue in the XXI century? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  2003 2005 2007 2008 2010 2013 2014 2016
To bring back the status as a  superpower that the USSR had 34 34 34 37 33 37 42 38
To be one of ten or fifteen highly developed countries 35 38 47 45 42 44 41 40
To be a leader in the post-Soviet space 16 14 9 8 8 9 10 9
No global goals should be pursued 7 7 5 5 9 7 4 7
Don’t know 8 7 5 5 8 3 3 6
In your opinion, will Russia be able to be a strong power in fifteen or twenty years? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  2003 2005 2007 2008 2010 2013 2014 2016
Likely yes 40 33 46 50 36 41 54 49
Likely no 36 41 31 19 30 39 18 18
It is now 12 13 12 16 18 10 19 26
Don’t know 12 13 11 15 16 10 9 7
What should Russia achieve to be a great power? (closed-ended question,  not more than two answers, %)
  2003 2007 2008 2010 2013 2014 2016
To provide high living standards to citizens 32 36 30 31 33 25 38
To have strong economy 54 55 53 50 53 52 37
To have strong armed forces 31 24 35 26 35 42 26
To develop science, to introduce new cutting-edge technologies 0 20 18 22 19 20 19
To restore high standards of Russian culture and national spirit 9 10 8 10 11 7 12
To become world’s top policy-maker able to solve international conflicts  10 6 8 7 6 11 11
To respect democratic rights and freedoms declared in the world 8 7 8 9 8 3 9
To become a “civilization” bridge between Europe and Asia, between the developed countries and the “third” countries 5 5 4 4 4 5 8
To get a control over the countries that were part of Russia’s or the USSR territory 8 7 6 7 6 8 5
To be the leading country  in the energy sector   0 4 5 4 4 6 5
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Don’t know 5 4 3 7 2 2 5
In your opinion, what impedes Russia from being one of the leading countries of the world? (closed-ended question, not more than two answers, %)
  2007 2008 2010 2013 2014 2016
Lagging behind economically developed countries 49 44 49 47 42 29
Resistance of the Western countries 12 19 14 11 37 29
Lack of national identity 17 16 17 20 14 15
Russian political instability 19 11 15 16 11 15
Human qualities of  Russians  10 11 14 17 12 14
Inter-ethnic conflicts within Russia 11 15 10 14 9 12
Vast territory and severe climate over its biggest part 4 5 5 7 8 7
Lagging behind developed countries in terms of democracy 13 10 13 14 8 7
Nothing impedes 6 12 8 8 10 11
Don’t know 9 7 7 4 3 9

Note: Using materials from the websites www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory.

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