Bashkirova & Partners » Blog » Opinion Polls » Russians come to take interest in foreign policies

Russians come to take interest in foreign policies

Do Russian citizens follow international political developments? How much the domination of international political news coverage in national and foreign media, noted by multiple experts, meets our citizens’ interest?

Bashkirova and partners Independent research agency conducted a series of all-Russia public opinion surveys over the period of 2013-2015, and based on their outcomes, has analyzed the changes in our people’s interests related to foreign policies issues.  


In 2014 findings of our surveys showed increase in Russians’ interest in foreign policies coverage. Thus, while in summer 2013 international developments appeared to be actively discussed with their friends and next of kin only by 10% of respondents, in one year period, every fourth participant of the survey was already doing so. This increase certainly has been caused by the political crisis and the military conflict in Ukraine, as well as the sanctions imposed by the EU and the US against both this country and individual legal and physical persons. The events of the “Arab Spring” (with the military conflicts and political crises in Egypt, Libya, Syria etc.) and the political non-stability in South Europe states have produced no such permanent interest towards international policies, even despite immense coverage on the mentioned developments in the media.

We should note that some percentage of our people having communicated about their occasional discussions on foreign policies used to change much less, compared to those who are frequent/often interest-takers. Some part of respondents having evidently shifted to the latter category was replaced by previously totally apolitical citizens.

The greatest percentage of the interested in foreign policies make Russians above 40 y.o. – 28%. The least share is found within the young – 15%. The young Russians are traditionally less politicized, and therefore even strong aggravation on political situation in 2014 failed to draw attention of quite significant percentage of them.


A year and a half ago the percentage of young respondents discussing actively foreign policies used to make  8%,  of respondents above 40 of age -13%, which shows us that the ratios have been preserved and the share of actively discussing foreign policies in both categories has become double what it was.


We may assume that once the Ukrainian conflict gets settled down and the relationship with the European world is normalized, also if we succeed in avoiding threats of the Islamist extremism in Central Asia, our people’s focus will again get diverted from foreign policies issues and turn back to the national economic agenda or non-political, everyday or personal affairs.



This study was conducted in the period from August 2013 till February 2015 based on all-Russia random route sample (18+) by means of face-to-face interviews in place of residence. Altogether 1500 respondents in each of 8 federal districts, 150 settlements, 200 sample points have been interviewed. The sample error makes up 2,5%.





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