Inflation emerges as biggest fear of Russians while concern over international tensions falls, poll finds

Inflation emerges as biggest fear of Russians while concern over international tensions falls, poll finds
Respondents tend to fear events that are out of their control, such as inflation, rather than those over which they may be able to exert some kind of influence, such as family conflicts.
By Henry Kirby in London April 6, 2016

Russians are now more concerned with international tensions than they are with job losses, while inflation has emerged as the country’s biggest fear, a poll by Moscow-based VTsIOM has found.

The poll, conducted on March 26-27, asked respondents to rate the likelihood of various problematic events occurring in their lives, with the results shown on a -100 to 100 scale, with 100 indicating that respondents are fully confident that the event will occur.

Fears of international conflict fell by 6 points to 21, yet still represented the second-biggest fear among respondents, according to the poll results.

The fear of job losses scored -22 on the index, making it the second least feared incident among respondents, after family conflicts, which scored -48.

Of the ten events offered as answers in the poll, only three either moved into the “likely” territory of the index (1-100) or saw an existing “likely” score grow between December and March.

In just the last three months those citing inflation as their biggest concern rose by 9 points on the index, from 13 in December 2015 to 22 in March, despite the fact that inflation in Russia has decreased dramatically for the last four months.

Fear of crime also grew between December and March, from -3 to 5, while concerns over personal health or access to healthcare grew by 5 points from -3 to 2.

According to Stepan Lvov, head of research at VTsIOM, respondents tend to fear events that are out of their control, such as inflation, rather than those over which they may be able to exert some kind of influence, such as family conflicts.

“Fears are found primarily where people do not see the opportunity to personally [influence] the situation,” Lvov said. “Ordinary citizens do not know how you can affect price increases, or the situation in world politics. On the contrary, they show confidence in issues that depend on them personally, such as family conflicts and the loss of a job.”

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