The annexation of Crimea is one of the greatest sources of national pride for ordinary Russians, a survey by independent pollster the Levada Center has revealed.
Some 43 percent of Russians said that they took pride in "returning Crimea to Russia," making it Russia's second most celebrated achievement. It was beaten only by Russia's victory in the Great Patriotic War, which was named as a source of pride by 83 percent of respondents.
Russians also said they were proud of Russian literature (36 percent), the industrial strength of the Soviet Union (35 percent), Russian science (32 percent), “the glorious Russian military” (26 percent), and strong Russian morals (23 percent). Some 18 percent of respondents said that they were proud that Russian President Vladimir Putin had stabilized the in the country and making its economy grow.
Meanwhile, more than half of Russians were frustrated and dismayed by "perpetual poverty” in the country (54 percent). Every third Russian said they were left ashamed by the dissolution of the USSR (33 percent) while one in four said they were upset about the “barbarity, rudeness, lack of respect in people show toward each other” (24 percent.)
Some 22 percent of Russians felt shame over early Soviet repressions, while 20 percent were embarrassed that Russia lagged behind the West. Another 14 percent also bemoaned Russia's “inertia and laziness" (14 percent.)
The poll was conducted between Jan. 20 and 23. Some 1600 Russians were polled across 137 towns and cities in 48 Russian regions.