Sense of national unity in Russia on the rise – poll
The number of Russians with a sense of national unity has increased dramatically amid Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) reported on Thursday.
According to a new poll from the center published on the eve of Unity Day, 56% of respondents believe there is national unity in Russia. This is “the maximum figure since the measurements started,” VCIOM said, noting that, last year, only 31% of Russians reported sharing this view. In 2012, when the survey was conducted for the first time, those who believed that the country was unified was less than 23%, while 56% believed there was no such thing.
“Russians themselves point to positive changes. Every other person believes that national unity in the country has increased over the past year (49%),” VCIOM said.
Around 15% of respondents view the peaceful coexistence of different people in Russia as a key manifestation of unity, and 9% believe that “at difficult times, Russia comes together” – the same percentage say the “majority of the population supports one leader and his policy.” Among those who believe there is unity, 28% say this is due to the attitude of Western countries towards Russia amid the military operation in Ukraine.
According to the research center, which interviewed 1,600 adults by phone on October 28, all socio-demographic groups have a sense of “the unity of the people” in a more or less similar way – this is stronger in small towns (62%) and villages (60%) than in Moscow and St. Petersburg (both 45%).
As would be expected, fewer and fewer people now say that national unity is declining – 37% – compared to last year’s 61%.