Russians Think People Have Changed Since Soviet Times, Poll Says

Modern Russians have largely changed compared to Soviet people, independent pollster Levada Center has said, citing a recent poll.

Asked whether the residents of today's Russia are different from people who lived in the Soviet Union, 74 percent of respondents said they are completely or in many respects different.

Fourteen percent said Russians have changed little or have remained the same, and 12 percent said they did not know.

Of those who said Russian residents are different, 58 percent said people have become more calculating and colder toward one another, 35 percent said people have grown intolerant, 30 percent said people are poorer and 29 percent called modern Russians freer.

Thirteen percent said people are more well off today. Only 2 percent said Russians now have a better attitude toward each other than Soviet nationals did.

Asked about whether the authorities have changed, 65 percent of respondents said the authorities have completely or in many respects changed. A total of 22 percent said there has been a small change or none at all since Soviet times. Twelve percent did not know what to say.

Of those who said the authorities are different, 50 percent said the country's leaders have stopped thinking about the population and only care about themselves, and 43 percent said they were unable to cope with the country's problems.

Twenty-six percent said the authorities have established normal relations with the West, 8 percent said they have put things right in the country, and 4 percent said the current authorities have started thinking about ordinary people.

The survey was conducted on July 18-22, 2013 among 1,601 urban and rural residents aged 18 and above in 130 cities, towns and villages of 45 Russian regions. The statistical margin of error does not exceed 3.4 percent.

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