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Poll Suggests War Tops Russians’ Fears While Economic Worries Wane

While concern over war has gone up, sociologists note that the index of fear about rising commodity prices and shrinking savings has lost seven points in two months

International tension still tops the list of Russians’ fears for a second month in a row, while concerns over the economic situation are fading, suggests a survey by the Russian Public Opinion Center posted on its website Wednesday.

"The index demonstrating the level of Russians’ fears about conflicts between different states made up 20 points in August (on a scale ranging from minus 100 to 100 points). It has remained practically unchanged over the recent months," the public opinion researcher said.

At the same time, sociologists note that the index of fear about rising commodity prices and shrinking savings has lost seven points in two months - from 21 in June to 14 in August (last year’s points were 14 and 10 accordingly).

According to the survey, fear indexes related to hikes in the rates of crime and domestic unrest remain the same - minus two points. Russians’ fears about their health and natural calamities are a bit lower - minus five points.

Family relations seem to be the lowest concern for Russians against the background of other problems, the survey suggests. "Family discord and conflicts with loved ones are seen as least possible - the index of these fears falling to minus 49 points, against minus 42 points in August 2015," it said.

"Fears about a tense international situation have remained high within the summer. These concerns were triggered by absolutely nonfictional developments - scandals regarding the Olympic Games, the Syrian conflict, terror attacks in Europe and an attempted coup in Turkey," it said.

Meanwhile, fears over high prices, deficit and shrinking life savings rapidly have been rapidly subsiding: upsetting media coverage of the economic crisis contradicted what people saw on price labels and on stores’ shelves," a senior officer from the polling company, Stepan Lvov, commented.

The fear index shows how likely Russians consider various problems. It is based on the question "How do you assess the possibility of the following problems emerging in your life?" and indexes are surveyed on a scale ranging from minus 100 points to plus 100 points. The higher is the figure, the likelier the Russians see the problem.

The survey of the Russian Public Opinion Research Center was conducted in 130 settlements of 46 regions on August 27-28. Statistical error does not exceed 3.5%.

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