Russians tired of stagnation - poll

A recent study has shown that Russians are getting tired of excessive stability and want more change.

The poll was conducted by the Levada sociology center last week. On Wednesday, President Dmitry Medvedev posted an entry in his video blog in which he called for the country’s political system to be revitalized through more competition.

It seems his feeling is shared by many Russians.For the first time, the percentage of those who see the current situation in the country as a “slowdown and stagnation” exceeded the number of those who think that the nation is still in the stabilization phase.

Only 24 per cent of those polled believe Russia is still in the development stage.

The shift is not that dramatic when compared to the same poll conducted in November 2001, but the fact that the most popular definitions have swapped places, concerned the sociologists. “Stability” was the most popular description of the Russian reality in 2001 and this year was the first where “stagnation” has ranked top.

Russian politicians and sociologists who have commented on President Medvedev’s blog statement, also noted that “stagnation” and “backwardness” are now the terms to describe the general situation in the country. The President called for modernization, and the age breakdown of the poll shows that the younger generation is ready to follow the call – most of the respondents under 25 years of age said the reforms were already under way.

While some of the reforms have already started, the very fact of repeated statements on the necessity of modernization and changes, signals that the modernization is only in its initial phase. However, the population is ready for even more radical action, the LevadaCenter’s poll shows. The number of respondents showing support for radical changes was 40 per cent, which is only slightly lower than the 43 per cent who said that reforms should be taken cautiously and slowly.

At the same time, the polling center said that despite general discontent, Russians show little interest in active protest. While most people said they were not content with the economic, social and even moral situations in the country, the current political course is supported by 48 per cent of people, with 44 per cent of those wanting political changes.