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Russians Increasingly Worried About Foreign Military Threat

Russians are increasingly worried about foreign states being a military threat, a new poll revealed.

The independent Levada Center pollster said Saturday that 68 percent of Russians believe a foreign power threatens Russia's national security, a 24 percentage point increase over the decade.

The poll, taken Jan. 23 to 26, revealed that only 22 percent of Russians consider the country safe from foreign attack, half as many as in 2005.

But Russians are more confident in their military's capabilities, with 82 percent saying it could fend off an aggressor and only 9 percent saying otherwise.

Popular confidence in the Russian military stood at 52 percent a decade ago, the pollster said.

The survey, taken by 1,600 adults from 46 regions across Russia, had a statistical margin of error no more than 3.4 percent.

A similar poll conducted in February by the state-run Russian Public Opinion Research Center had results nearly matching Levada Center's.

The state poll, also taken by 1,600 people, found that 68 percent of Russians consider the country threatened by a foreign power, a 16 percentage point increase since last year.

That poll, which had a margin of error of no more than 3.5 percent, also revealed that 40 percent of the population is in favor of increasing the size of the Russian military.

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