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Nostalgia for the Soviet Union Hits 14-Year High in Russia, Poll Says

Andrei Gordeev / Vedomosti / TASS

More Russians regret the collapse of the Soviet Union than at any point since 2004, according to an independent survey published ahead of the 27th anniversary of the Soviet fall.

Public polling has increasingly shown that a growing number of Russians regret the Soviet collapse and approve of Soviet-era policies. The union collapsed on Dec. 25, 1991 with the resignation of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who handed over power in the Kremlin to Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

Sixty-six percent of Russians say they regret that the U.S.S.R. broke up, according to the results of the survey published by the Levada Center pollster on Wednesday, up from 58 percent last year.

Only a quarter said they did not regret the fall of Communism, marking what the pollster called “the most significant polarization of opinion in the last 10 years.”

Levada has conducted the poll since March 1992. In that time, regret for the Soviet collapse peaked in 2000 at 75 percent, but only fell below 50 percent once — in 2012.

Among those who said they regretted the Soviet collapse this year, a majority of respondents (52 percent) said they missed the loss of the single economic system of the 15-republic union, while 36 percent said they regretted that “people have lost the sense that they belong to a great power.”

Although the rise in nostalgia for the Soviet Union was recorded among all age groups over the past year, those in the 55 and older group traditionally expressed the most nostalgia.

Levada conducted the survey among 1,600 respondents in 52 Russian regions between Nov. 22 and Nov. 28.

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