Press release №2006


  • 36% of Russians know exactly what the outcome of the October 1st referendum was, 44% think that the referendum and referendum-related conflict are important to Russia (40% oppose that)
  • 68% believe that Russia should stay neutral in this situation

Most of Russians consider that Russia should be neutral in the conflict between Madrid and Barcelona.

MOSCOW, October 13, 2017. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the findings of a study devoted to the Russian assessment of the Catalan independence referendum.

Russians are divided in their opinions on the importance of the Catalonia referendum to Russia (held on October 1st, 2017): 44% gave an affirmative answer (53% among those aged 60 and over vs. 38% among the 18-24-year-olds); 40% have negative opinions.

Russians know little about the domestic problems of Spain. Most of them do not know anything about the outcome of the referendum. Only one-third of respondents (36%) are aware of the referendum results (victory of the Catalan independence supporters). Russians have a rough idea about what the Catalan separatists are driven by: 52% fail to provide any suggestion. Moreover, not all Russians have a clear idea about Catalonia (more than one-third failed to answer the question) and where it is located.

Most of Russians support non-involvement in other countries’ conflict: 68% support neutrality. Fourteen percent of Russians propose to support the Catalan separatists; 5% would support the Spanish authorities refusing to recognize the referendum results.

The Medialogia Company carried out an analysis based on the Catalonia topic mentions in the Russian mass media and social media. A total number of 26,700 mass media mentions and 286,100 social media mentions have been found since October 1, 2017. The discussion touched upon the results of the independence referendum held on October 1st, rallies across Spain and the reaction of the world community.

The VCIOM-Sputnik Russian nationwide survey was conducted on October 9-10, 2017. The survey involved 1,200 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 3.5%. 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 more than 42,000 sources and social media data (Twitter, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, LiveJournal, forums and blogs). Period of study: October 1 - 9, 2017.

Have you ever heard of “Catalonia”, or is this the first time you hear about it? If you heard of it, can you describe it in two or three words? (open-ended question, not more than two answers, %)
  Total respondents
Part of Spain 21
Part of Spain that wants independence 18
I only heard the name; I do not know any details 15
A country 6
They had a referendum to be independent from Spain 5
Spain's autonomous region 2
They have strikes and riots right now 2
Spanish city 2
Country in Spain 2
Part of Italy 1
One of Spanish peoples 1
Famous rich region popular among tourists 1
They are on the verge of civil war now 1
Part of France 1
Other 2
This is the first time I hear about that 29
Don't know 3
What country does Catalonia belong to? (open-ended question, one answer, % of those who heard about Catalonia)
  Total respondents
Spain 63
Italy 5
Somewhere in Europe 1
Barcelona 1
France 1
Former Yugoslavia 1
Other 1
Don't know 26
There has recently been a referendum on independence in Catalonia. In your opinion, is this conflict between Catalonia and Spain important for Russia? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents Aged 18-24 Aged 25-34 Aged 35-44 Aged 45-59 Aged 60 and over
Definitely important 17 4 6 9 27 27
Rather important 27 34 26 26 26 26
Rather not important 26 34 36 32 22 14
Definitely not important 14 13 17 18 13 10
Don't know 16 15 15 15 12 23
Do you know who won the Catalan referendum, or not?  (closed-ended, one answer, %)
  Total respondents
Supporters of the Catalan independence won   36
Supporters of Spanish unity won 6
Don’t know 58
In your opinion, why do certain Catalans want independence from Spain?  (open-ended question, not more than two answers, %)
  Total respondents
They are not happy with taxation policies; they do not want to give a big part of profit 13
They want independence 13
They are not satisfied with Spanish policies 8
They want higher living standards 7
Catalonia is more economically developed than the other part of Spain 3
They want to have more rights 3
They always regarded themselves as a separate country; they always wanted independence 2
They want to withdraw from EU 2
Catalonia has its own culture and traditions. This is a national conflict 2
Someone wants to take power in hand 1
Someone incited it; some third party will benefit from that 1
They are not happy with the situation in the country 1
Other 2
Don’t know 52
Many Catalans support independence from Spain. However, Spain refuses to recognize the referendum results. What party should Russia support in this situation? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents Aged 18-24 Aged 25-34 Aged 35-44 Aged 45-59 Aged 60 and over
Supporters of Catalan independence 14 14 16 8 15 14
Spanish government 5 2 4 5 5 8
Stay neutral 68 71 70 75 66 62
Don't know 13 13 10 12 14 16

Note: Using materials from the site or, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory! The use of the Medialogia system content, fully or partially, must be accompanied by the reference to the Medialogia Company.

  Results of our study
  In focus