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The Russian pollster Levada Center recently published thought-provoking, if unsettling, findings: Most Russians said they missed the Soviet Union. We will look at the detailed results of this survey and some possible explanations. You can read the pollster’s report in Russian.
The main finding of the poll (опро́с), conducted in late November 2018 among 1,600 respondents, is that 66 percent of all respondents said they regret the break-up of the Soviet Union. The question was worded as follows: “Сожале́ете ли Вы о распа́де СССР?” (Do you regret the break-up of the USSR?) Twenty five percent of respondents (респонде́нты) said they did not, and 9 percent were unsure.
Levada Center has been asking this question since 1992. Another interesting finding was that the number of people who missed the USSR has gone up since last year and is now the higher than at any point since 2005.
When asked whether the breakup of the USSR was inevitable, 62 percent said it could have been prevented, and 27 percent said it couldn’t have. The question was worded this way:
Как вы сейча́с счита́ете, распа́д Сове́тского Сою́за был неизбе́жен, и́ли его́ мо́жно бы́ло избежа́ть?
Do you now feel the collapse of the USSR was inevitable, or could it have been avoided?
The top reasons people named for missing the USSR were:
The pollster notes that the relative ranking of reasons has remained largely unchanged.
Respondents in the 55 and older age group were most likely to regret the fall of the USSR. The 18-24 age group was the only one with more people who did not care about the end of the Soviet Union than those who did, and that has been true since the year 2002. However, the nostalgia (ностальги́я) for the USSR has gone up across all age groups.
What do you find these results scary, or do they make sense to you? Have you talked to people who have lived in the former USSR before it was “former”? How do they describe that era?
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