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Democracy in Russian

How our citizens feel about performance of democracy institutions in the Russian Federation? Another study of Bashkirova and partners independent research agency of late January 2015 is to answer this question. 


More than a half of the Russian citizens (55%) are happy with the way democracy institutions are functioning in Russia. About a third of respondents have given a negative answer and each tenth said they didn’t know. It’s worth noting people’s happiness with the democracy institutes performance shows considerable growth:  in 2014 positive response to the question was given by  35% of Russians interviewed, while there were 32% of positives in 2013 (please see our previously published press-issues). Since neither significant changes nor serious crises have used to incur over the last two years in Russian political system, we may suggest, that the increase in the percentage of positives has been affected by the political crisis in the neighbor Ukraine. Watching the collapse of the Ukrainian political system and the military conflict developing, our compatriots come to look at quality of home political institutions in different eye now.  We may also assume more conformist responses to appear about this increase due to harder line on political rhetoric, prevailing in media (i.e. mentioning «the fifth column», «national traitors» etc.)

The least percentage of positive responses is recorded from the retired people (i.e. participants above 60 y.o.) – 45%, and the most – from the young, under 25 y.o. - 58%.  

Elderly people make the most socially unprotected category. The poor mark they share about democracy institutions performance in Russia is a signal, saying their concerns have been suppressed in the media by foreign policy issues. Perhaps they are not sure their voice can be still heard either by public or by officials.

We should pay attention to the fact that the least percentage of respondents who gave positive answer, are residents of urban settlements with population size of between 500 000 and 1 000 000 people – just 40%.  

We may assume, that residents of regional cities have appeared the least happy with work of democratic institutions, because, even having access to alternative information (online) and, in their needs, looking at megacity dwellers, still can’t enjoy job and self-fulfillment opportunities, that are enjoyed by One million big city residents. They cannot find a possibility of expressing their conventional discontent. So they, similar to the retired, may think, their problems are ignored by media, by officials, and by political parties (also as well as the media, focused mostly on the foreign issues), empowered to advocate their interests. As an example we could take the recent cancellation of suburban commuting trains and wholesale redundancy at automobile industry plants.  Ignoring interests of large industrial centers residents is able to make in future a driver for political destabilization in Russia.


The assessment of the democracy institutions performance shows a strong correlation with citizens’ political mindset. The best percentage of the interviewed, having answered our question positively, is found in Russians who trust in the national government (62%).  Furthermore only 26% of our people, criticizing the government performance, have rated performance of democracy institutions positively. The same correlation is found when comparing our people’s responses on their lack of confidence in the State Duma, political parties, regional and local authorities.

Besides, our assumptions above get proved by comparing answers of respondents who feel judicial towards the media (television, radio, printed media) and Russians confident of the broadcasted information (share of happy with democracy institutions amongst the first category of respondents is twice smaller).



This study was conducted late January 2015 based on all-Russia random route sample (18+) by means of face-to-face interviews in place of residence. Altogether 1500 respondents in 8 federal districts, 150 settlements, 200 sample points have been surveyed. The sample error makes up 2,5%. Credible interval is 95%.


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