The memory of the October Revolution is likely to split Russians rather than to bring them together. The only common thing both for supporters and opponents of the revolution is that today Russia should avoid revolution.
MOSCOW, October 11, 2017. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the findings of studies that mark 100th anniversary of the October Revolution.
Whether the October revolution expressed the will of most of peoples living in the Russian empire is still disputable: 45% of respondents reply in the affirmative; 43% give a negative answer (36% and 37%, respectively, in 1990). Forty-six percent of respondents say that the October revolution served the interests of the majority; 46% oppose them.
Russians still consider that the basic reason for the revolution is the plight of the people (45% agree with that in 2017). The aims of those who supported the revolution are hard to define (42% fail to answer); most of respondents cite “coup d’état, regime change”(19%), “all power to the people, factories to workers, land to peasants” (13%), “life change for the better” (10%)
The revolutionary enthusiasm observed in early 1990s has disappeared. Today respondents prefer concealing themselves rather than participating in revolutionary actions (27% choose to wait through, 16% to go abroad). Twenty-eight percent of respondents would have support the Bolsheviks with varying degrees (42% among those aged 60 and over vs 21% of the 18-24-year-olds). There has been a rise in the share of those who favor Lenin, Dzerzhinsky, Stalin, on the other hand, and Nicholas II, Kolchak, on the other hand.
At the same time, the consequences of the October revolution are broadly assessed as “positive” (38% - “it gave rise to social and economic development”; 23% - “it opened a new era in the Russian history”); those who think so are not only older generations but also younger respondents. Among all those political forces of the time, Bolsheviks are supported most (32%), though most of respondents who say so are retired persons. Simultaneously, 36% would not have supported either political movement.
Extreme views on the “revolution in general” are less likely to be expressed by respondents; the revolution is more perceived as a complex and ambiguous phenomenon which has its negative and positive sides. According to the 2016 survey data, 57% see the revolution as “historical certitude” (25% as “upheavals and victims”, 11% - as “social renewal”).
Only a few would like a revolution to happen in Russia (5% according to the 2017 data, whereas the overwhelming majority, 92%, do not accept revolution); 30% think the revolution is probable; 61% disagree with that.
See the PPT file for more information
The Medialogia Company carried out an analysis of the mentions devoted to the October revolution in the Russian media and compared the 2016 and 2017 results. The media showed high interest in the topic in 2017. Over the first ten months a total number of 48,700 mentions were found in the media; 114,600 mentions for the same period last year. The media were discussing the following topics in 2017: Vladimir Putin paid attention to the centennial of the 1917 revolution in his Address to the Federal Assembly; Putin called upon to carry out an unbiased analysis of the event and assured that Russia would not get back to the past doctrines proven false; re-establishment of the November 7th holiday; the Presidential Council for Civil Society proposed to introduce criminal and administrative amnesty to mark the 100th anniversary of the revolution.
VCIOM Russian public opinion polls were conducted in 2005-2017.
The “EXPRESS” survey was conducted on December 3-4, 2016, in 130 settlements, 46 regions, krais and republics across 8 Russian federal districts. The sample (n=1600) is representative of the Russian population aged 18 and over according to sex, age, education, type of settlement. The survey was conducted with multi-stage stratified sample based on general rule of walking and quotas at the final selection stage. 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 structured face-to-face interviews. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey. The 2005-2016 results are also based on household surveys.
The VCIOM-Sputnik Russian nationwide survey was conducted on October 3-5, 2017. The survey involved 1,800 Russians aged 18 and over, and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted for the probability of selection and reflect social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.
The Russian media publications were monitored and analyzed by the Medialogia Company using the company’s media database involving approximately 42,500 media sources such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, news agencies and online media. The study took place from January 2016 to October 2017.
|In your opinion, what were the key factors that led to the October revolution? (closed-ended, one answer, %)|
|Plight of the people||54||45||43||45|
|Russian enemies' conspiracy||5||5||10||12|
|Extremism of political adventurers||7||7||11||7|
|Spontaneous crowd aggression||5||4||7||4|
|Don' t know||7||16||11||9|
|Revolutions also happened in other countries (England, France, Germany, etc.) What are your attitudes toward revolution as a historical phenomenon? (closed-ended, one answer, %)|
|Revolution is historical certitude with its positive and negative sides||42||40||57|
|Revolutions are related to upheavals and victims which cannot be justified||38||37||25|
|Revolution is social renewal, a chance for many people to make their ideas come true||10||15||11|
|Don' t know||10||8||7|
|Do you agree that the October revolution expressed the will of peoples living in the Russian empire? (closed-ended, one answer, %)|
|Don' t know||27||12|
*In 1990, the survey involved the all-Union representative sample of urban and rural populations aged 16 and over; the sample size was 1,855 respondents.
|In your opinion, whose interests did the October Revolution serve? (closed-ended, one answer, %)|
|Total respondents е, 2017||Aged 18-24||Aged 25-34||Aged 35-44||Aged 45-59||Aged 60 and over|
|Society in general||10||10||7||7||11||13|
|A small group of people||33||36||40||37||32||24|
|Don' t know||8||7||11||8||7||7|
|What would you have done, if you had witnessed the October revolution? (closed-ended, one answer, %)|
|I would have waited through and would have not participated in any activities||13||25||27|
|I would have gone abroad||10||11||16|
|I would have actively supported the Bolsheviks||19||10||15|
|I would have supported the Bolsheviks in some areas||21||12||13|
|I would have opposed the Bolsheviks||7||6||9|
* In 1990, the survey involved the all-Union representative sample of urban and rural populations aged 16 and over; the sample size was 1,855 respondents.
|In your opinion, what were the goals of the October revolution supporters? 1 to 3 answers are possible (open-ended question, not more than three answers, answers of at least 1% of respondents , line-by-line)|
|Total respondents, 2017|
|Coup d’etat, regime change||19|
|All power to the people, factories to workers, land to peasants||13|
|Changing life for the better||10|
|They wanted to take over the government||7|
|Building communism and socialism||4|
|Pursuing noble goals||2|
|Weakening , destroying the country||2|
|Available education and healthcare||2|
|Acquiring a material good||2|
|For the benefit of the people||1|
|Providing people with jobs, good working conditions||1|
|Building a great country||1|
|Dispossessing the bourgeoisie||1|
|There are various points of view on the impacts of the October revolution. Which statement do you agree with? (closed-ended, one answer, %)|
|It gave rise to social and economic development||28||26||27||38|
|It opened a new era in the Russian history||32||22||21||23|
|It hampered social and economic development of the country||18||17||16||14|
|It was a disaster for Russia||11||11||18||13|
|What political movement would you have supported in 1917? (closed-ended, one answer, %)|
|Total respondents, 2017||Aged 18-24||Aged 25-34||Aged 35-44||Aged 45-59||Aged 60 and over|
|Social democrats (Bolsheviks)||32||25||13||23||36||51|
|Social Revolutionaries (SRs)||4||7||5||5||4||1|
|Constitutional Democrats (Kadets )||3||6||5||4||2||2|
|Social democrats (Mensheviks)||3||3||2||4||4||2|
|One of national parties||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|What feeling do the following revolutionaries bring out in you? (closed-ended, one answer per each line, %)|
|Mainly liking||Mainly dislikes||Don’t know|
|Today certain politicians declare that a revolution is possible in Russia. In your opinion how possible is it? (closed-ended, one answer, %)|
|Very much possible||18||6||11|
|Likely not possible||37||39||34|
|Not at all possible||12||18||27|
|Certain political forces are actively pushing for revolution. Others consider that revolution cannot be allowed whatever happens. What point of view is closer to yours? (closed-ended, one answer, %)|
|The first one: the modern Russia needs a revolution||13||5|
|The second one: whatever happens, revolution should not be allowed||78||92|
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