Press release №2121
04.12.2018
RUSSIAN CONSTITUTION: OUR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

IN BRIEF

  • Most of Russians are familiar with the Constitution’s provisions
  • Right to health protection is the most important citizen’s right, according to Russians (49%)
  • Most of Russians studied the Constitution at the university (38%)
  • 66% respondents do not know the year when the Russian Constitution was adopted

The most important rights and freedoms declared in the Russian Constitution are social rights to health care, education and social security.

MOSCOW, December 4, 2018. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) and State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia present the data of the study on how well the Russian citizens are aware of the Constitution’s content, and what constitutional rights they consider as the most important.

The Index* of awareness of the constitution’s content reached 52 p.p. which is higher than the 2016 figure (46 p.). Today most of Russians say they are aware of the content of the Russian Constitution and its fundamental provisions:  69% have a general idea; 6% are well aware. However almost one quarter (23%) do not have a general idea of the Constitution.

The most important rights and freedoms declared in the Constitution are right to health protection (49%), right to education (45%), right to labor (40%), and right to social security (38%). More than one-third of respondents also cite “right to life” and “right to housing” (36%, for each). Fewer respondents mention “right to protect rights and freedoms including judicial protection” (30%), “right to freedom and personal security” (29%), “freedom of travel countrywide and abroad” (27%). Every fifth (23%) point to “freedom of thought and speech”; a further 19% consider “protection of private life” is essential. Russians show personal interest in laws related to citizens’ social security (54%), health protection (46%) and labor rights’ protection (41%). Fourteen percent of respondents show interest in the Constitution.

Most of Russians studied the Constitution at the university (38%) or school (30%). In addition, every fourth (23%) studied the Constitution’s fundamentals on their own initiative. Fifteen percent learned it for professional purposes. Every fifth (18%) did not learn the Russian Constitution (42% among those who have in complete secondary education).  

The survey suggests that two-thirds of Russians (66%) do not know the year when the Russian Constitution was adopted. The right answer (1993) was given by just 13% of respondents. Nine percent answered “1991”; and 5%, “1992”.  At the same time, 22% consider that the 1991 August coup d’état happened in the same year when the Constitution was adopted; a further 10% say it was the same year when the Declaration on State Sovereignty of the RSFSR was adopted. Every tenth (9%) pointed to default; 9% mentioned the conflict between the Russia’s Supreme Soviet and the Russian president.

*Index of awareness of the Constitution shows how much Russians are aware of the Constitution’s content. The higher the index, the higher the awareness level. The index is based on the question: “Do you personally know the content of the Russian Constitution and its basic provisions?”  The index is calculated as a difference of the sum of answers “Yes, I am well aware of the basic provisions”, “I have a general idea of the basic provisions” and the answer “I have no idea”. The Index is measured in points and can vary between -100 and 100.

The VCIOM survey was commissioned by the State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia and conducted on November 27, 2018. The survey involved 1,600 Russians aged 18 and over. The survey was telephone-based 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 according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 1.8%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

The 2009-2016 results are based on household surveys.
Do you personally know the content of the Russian Constitution and its basic provisions? If yes, how well do you know them?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  2016 2018
I am well aware of the basic provisions 8 6
I have a general idea of the basic provisions of the Constitution   64 69
I have no idea about the Constitution 26 23
Don’t know 2 2
Index of awareness of the Constitution* 46 52

 

Now I will read a list of fundamental rights and freedoms declared in the Russian Constitution. Which ones do you consider the most important?  (closed-ended question, up to 7 answers, % of total respondents)
  2003 2004 2005 2009 2013 2018
Right to health care 40 47 43 51 49 49
Right to education 23 29 24 30 30 45
Right to labor 45 49 50 51 47 40
Right to social security (in old age, in case of disease, etc. 33 40 36 38 31 38
Right to life 45 49 58 61 56 36
Right to housing 32 38 41 43 40 36
Right to protect rights and freedoms  including judicial protection 16 20 23 28 23 30
Right to freedom and  personal security 37 40 52 54 51 29
Freedom of travel countrywide and abroad   9 12 16 15 16 27
Right to rest 31 38 39 40 37 23
Freedom of thought and speech 19 17 22 32 32 23
Right to private property, entrepreneurship 13 16 14 19 16 21
Private life protection 24 25 34 32 32 19
Right to mother language 10 11 21 23 19 18
Right to elect and to be elected   6 10 13 13 14 15
Religious freedoms d and freedom of  conscience 8 7 10 12 11 15
Right to participate in public and political life 5 6 8 12 11 11
Freedom of association 3 2 4 5 7 5
I did not think of that/ Don’t know 8 7 11 3 7 9
 

 

Now I will read a list of fundamental rights and freedoms declared in the Russian Constitution. Which ones do you consider the most important? (closed-ended question, up to 7 answers, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents  Aged  18-24 Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more
Right to health care 49 32 41 51 58 51
Right to education 45 44 43 49 47 42
Right to labor 40 28 27 41 52 41
Right to social security (in old age, in case of disease, etc. 38 22 32 37 45 42
Right to life 36 47 41 38 33 31
Right to housing 36 30 36 37 38 34
Right to protect rights and freedoms  including judicial protection 30 36 34 34 28 24
Right to freedom and  personal security 29 30 31 31 30 25
Freedom of travel countrywide and abroad  27 33 31 28 26 22
Right to rest 23 26 21 23 22 23
Freedom of thought and speech 23 38 32 19 18 18
Right to private property, entrepreneurship 21 20 25 26 23 15
Private life protection 19 27 24 17 19 14
Right to mother language 18 25 17 21 14 17
Right to elect and to be elected  15 21 17 13 16 12
Religious freedoms d and freedom of  conscience 15 12 13 19 18 13
Right to participate in public and political life 11 9 10 9 12 12
Freedom of association 5 6 6 6 5 5
I did not think of that/ Don’t know 9 4 8 8 7 13
 

 

Now I will read a list of fundamental rights and freedoms declared in the Russian Constitution. Which ones do you consider the most interesting? (closed-ended question, up to 3 answers, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents  Aged  18-24 Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more
Citizens’ social provision 54 42 54 54 53 58
Citizens’ rights in health care 46 37 43 44 52 48
Protection of labor rights 41 38 39 46 46 33
Constitutional fundamentals 14 13 17 16 15 12
Opportunity to participate in the work of public bodies 9 12 16 10 7 5
Citizens’ right to appeal to public bodies 9 8 10 11 8 9
Rules of organization of rallies and demonstrations 6 14 9 4 4 5
None 10 25 12 10 6 5
Other   3 0 1 3 5 3
Don’t know 6 1 3 3 6 11

 

Did you happen to study the Constitution to get familiar with its particular provisions? If yes, under what circumstances? (closed-ended question, any number of answers, % of those who know or have a general idea of the Constitution’s fundamental provisions)
  % of those who know or have a general idea of the Constitution’s fundamental provisions Elementary (incomplete secondary) education Secondary education (school, vocational school) Specialized secondary education  (technical school) Incomplete higher (not less than three years in a higher education institution), higher  education
University studies 38 15 11 26 55
School years 30 30 34 30 29
My personal initiative 23 11 26 22 24
For work purposes 15 4 9 13 19
I did not study the Russian Constitution  18 42 28 22 11
Other   3 6 7 2 2
Don’t know 1 0 1 2 1

 

Do you remember the year when the Russian Constitution was adopted?  (open-ended question, one answer; answers of at least 1% of respondents, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents 
1993 13
1991 9
1992 5
1990 1
1994 1
1995 1
1996 1
1997 1
2000 1
I do not remember/do not know that 66

 

Do you remember what happened on the eve of the adoption of the Russian Constitution, what happened in that year? (closed-ended question, any number of answers, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents  Aged  18-24   Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more
August coup d’état 22 9 21 26 23 24
Adoption of the Declaration on State Sovereignty of the RSFSR   10 11 8 10 13 10
Default, economic crisis 9 20 11 11 5 8
Conflict between the Supreme Soviet and the Russian president   9 8 9 8 9 9
Elections of Russian State Duma deputies 7 10 10 6 4 8
Congress of  Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR 6 14 4 4 7 4
Voting on  President’s impeachment 6 8 7 6 5 5
October red march in Ostankino 5 10 4 6 4 5
None of the above mentioned   9 15 7 8 11 8
No idea/ Don’t know 40 33 39 39 39 44

 

Note: Using materials from the site 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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