Russian Opinion

Another news snippet. Not surprising, but interesting nevertheless.

MOSCOW, Jan. 6 (UPI) — The majority of Russians prefer the lives they had lived before the country’s stormy economic reforms were launched in 1991, a poll said Sunday.

The survey, conducted by ROMIR-Gallup International public opinion research group, queried 2,000 respondents throughout Russia on New Year’s Eve.

According to the poll results, 55.1 percent of those asked said they wished they could have their pre-reform living standard returned.

Only 32.6 percent said they preferred their present lives. The remaining respondents were undecided.

The package of social and economic reforms, evolving chiefly from the Russian government’s attempt to drop communist state planning and introduce a market economy, saw millions of Russians hit by poverty and unemployment.

The age group most affected are the pensioners, who the reforms have deprived of many of the Communist-era social benefits, forcing them to make ends meet on meager pensions.

The really scary figures, of course, are the life expectancy figures: Stephen Cohen reports in his excellent Failed Crusade that male life expectancy in Russia has fallen to 58, roughly where it was at the start of the last century.

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