bne:Chart - More Russians willing to accept abuse of power if living standards remain high

By bne IntelliNews August 21, 2015

Henry Kirby in London -


Nearly a third of Russians would have no complaints over potential abuses of power by President Vladimir Putin if it meant that their standard of living didn’t suffer as a result, according to a poll.

The survey, conducted by the independent Levada Center, gives credence to claims that under Putin’s regime, guaranteed quality of life comes at the price of political acquiescence.

When asked if they believe Putin is guilty of the accusations of power abuse that are often levelled at him, 31% said that they are more concerned with their overall quality of life. Even more (36%) said that they believe Putin to be guilty of abusing his position. 

Despite this, 22% said that Putin has never abused his power – the highest proportion of respondents offering such an answer since the poll was first conducted three years ago.

This comes as a surprise, as Russia is currently facing its toughest economic challenge since the 2008-2009 recession, with Russians having to eke out a living on ever-decreasing wages amid increasingly expensive day-to-day goods.

The most recent official figures show real wages down 7.2% year on year in June, with inflation sitting at 15.3% in the same month.

Many respondents felt that President Putin was more likely the victim of hidden or misleading information at the hands of senior government officials than an abuser of power. 42% of respondents said that he was fed incomplete or misleading information by his advisors, and 14% said that they were hiding information from him altogether.


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