Russians consider national unity a great value and want to celebrate the holiday. Unity is what we need and what we are lacking.
MOSCOW, October 31, 2019. Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) presents the results of a survey devoted to Day of People’s Unity.
Unity among Russians
One-third of respondents are confident that there is national unity in Russia today (37%). This opinion is typical of young Russians aged 18-24 (46%) and persons over 60 (40%). People’s unity is also mentioned by inhabitants of small cities with a population of 100,000-500,000 (40%) and less than 100,000 inhabitants (41%). Over the recent seven years the share of Russians who point to people’s unity has increased by 14 p.p. (23% in 2012 г.), although it has decreased by 17 p.p. compared to the 2017 figures.
Those who do not feel any unity are respondents living in large cities (with a population of 500,000-950,000 inhabitants) (62%), million cities and metropolitan residents (56% and 59%, respectively). What stops people from feeling unity might be the “big city loneliness” and a lack of close social contacts.
Those who think that there is national unity in Russia mostly point to patriotism – in hardships Russia is united (12%). Unity is also referred to the readiness of people to help each other as well as to our culture (11%, for each). Peaceful ethnic relations also strengthen unity (9%); 8% mention people’s desire to achieve common goals and solve common problems. However, 44% of respondents fail to provide any explanation for the unity.
Those respondents who think that national unity is not typical of Russians mainly point to different goals and human intentions: “everyone has his/her own interests” (30%). Personal qualities, individualism, is first among reasons which hamper unity. Social disparities, gap between the rich and the poor are mentioned by 21% of respondents. A further 10% consider that there is no national unity because common goals and cohesion are lacking; 8% point to the fear of losing or expressing personal opinion.
The November 4th holiday
One-third of Russians are aware that the November 4th is Day of People’s Unity in Russia (32%); a further 24% call it “Day of Unity”; 7%, “Day of Russia’s Unity”. According to 68% of respondents, it is important to celebrate such holidays. This stance is mainly shared by young respondents aged 18-24 (83%) as well as rural area residents (70%) and residents of cities with a population of 100,000- 500,000 inhabitants. Persons aged 35-44 (30%) and 45-59 (31%) - mainly those who remember the November 7th holiday or the USSR dissolution - say it is unimportant.
Celebrating holidays such as Day of People’s Unity is important as it unites people on a national scale (50%). It also cultivates patriotism and pride for the country (10%). For 8 % of respondents this day gives an atmosphere of holiday; 7% say this day is an important holiday which needs to be celebrated. Another 7% say it is important as it refers to historical events.
Those who believe that celebrating this holiday is unimportant mainly point to a lack of unity in Russia (24%). A further 15% do not comprehend the essence of the holiday; 23% think this holiday is an artificial alternative to the November 7th holiday. According to 8% of respondents, Day of People’s Unity is an unimportant, outdated holiday, whereas the November 7th is closer to people and well-liked by many people.
What impedes people’s unity?
Differences and antipathies between social groups appear to be universal in any society. But what kind of differences are Russians sensitive to? Seventy-six percent of respondents point to the gap between the rich and the poor. Most of respondents agree that there are antipathies and ambiguities between senior employees and ordinary workers (61%), entrepreneurs and hired workers (57%). Thus, according to the survey, sharp contradictions may arise due to economic situation and power and authority.
As to contradictions between Russians and people of other ethnicity, almost half of respondents consider that they are nonexistent (49%). Respondents also consider that there is no antipathy between natives and non-residents (60%).
According to the survey findings, no contradictions are seen between the working class and intelligentsia (53%), employees of the budget organizations and commercials sector (54%), rural area inhabitants and urban dwellers (67%).
VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on October 28, 2019. The survey involved 1,600 Russians aged 18 and over. The survey was telephone-based and 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 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.
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.