Russian patriotism reaches an all time high – poll

Russian patriotism reaches an all time high – poll
A total of 94% of Russians identified themselves as "patriots" – an all-time high – and two thirds of those as "absolute patriots" in a recent poll. / bne IntelliNews
By bne IntelliNews March 31, 2024

Patriotism in Russia is at an all-time high, according to a recent poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) published on March 29.

An overwhelming majority (94%) of Russians identify themselves as “patriots of the country.” The figure includes 62% who declare their patriotism as absolute, marking a significant uptick of 10 percentage points from a similar poll a year earlier.

According to the report, the surge in patriotic sentiment has been unprecedented, tracing its origins back to the autumn of 2014 following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, which was widely welcomed by the Russian public.

Since then, the proportion of “absolute” patriots has substantially overtaken those who consider their patriotism to be moderate, with 48% in the former category and 36% in the latter.

"The level of patriotism among Russians is higher than ever: today, 94% of our fellow citizens consider themselves patriots, including 62% who are absolute patriots, an all-time high since data began to be collected," VTsIOM said in its report, cited by TASS.

The survey revealed respondents made a deep connection between patriotism and familial bonds, a sense of belonging, and cherished moments with loved ones. The concept of “homeland” (rodinina) extends beyond Russia’s mere geographical confines and also encapsulating concepts like “haven of safety” and “joy.”

The participants of the survey articulated their love for Russia as a blend of pride, defence, contribution to its development and a profound understanding of its rich history and culture.

"You know someone loves their country if they try to be a decent, responsible, honest and loyal person," the report says.

In a parallel survey and in the wake of President Vladimir Putin's recent landslide results in the presidential elections, polls reveal that the respondents continue to place substantial trust and confidence in the president, with figures oscillating between 81% and 84%, according to VTsIOM.

"When asked about their trust in Putin, 84% of respondents answered positively, marking a marginal increase of 1 percentage point since March 10. Furthermore, a similar percentage of the population, 84%, affirm their belief in Putin's effective leadership as the head of state,” VTsIOM said.

Putin declared a sweeping victory in the country's presidential election on March 15-17, taking an unbelievable 87% of the vote on a record turnout.

However, the pollster found a slight dip in trust towards Putin, with 80.7% of participants expressing a positive outlook, a decrease of 0.3 percentage points in a poll of 1,600 adult residents conducted between March 18 and 24, in the midst of which Russia was struck by a brutal terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall shopping mall on March 22 that saw over 140 people die. Nevertheless, the president's approval rating remains steady at 78.9%, VTsIOM said.

The government under Putin also received mixed reviews, with a 58% approval rating for the government's job performance, down 3 percentage points from the previous survey a month earlier. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin's approval stood at 56%, reflecting a 3 percentage point decrease.

The poll found that the ruling United Russia party enjoyed a 52% support level, witnessing a slight increase of 1 percentage point. Other parties, including the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), saw minor fluctuations in their support levels.

Individual party leaders received varied levels of trust, with KPRF's Gennady Zyuganov and A Just Russia-For Truth's Sergey Mironov seeing increases in trust levels, while New People's Alexey Nechayev experienced a decline.