Less than a third of all Russians thinks Russia is a European country – a steep drop from the 52% who held that opinion 13 years ago. At the same time, just 27% of those surveyed said they consider themselves part of Europe.
That’s according to a new poll from the Levada Center, a Moscow-based pollster and registered foreign agent. The survey revealed that the number of Russians who believe the nation to be European has almost halved in less than a decade and a half, with just 28% of Russians now considering their homeland to part of Europe and 64% responding that it was “non-European.”
“Overall, since 2008, the number of those who believe that Russia is a European country has dropped by almost half: from 52% to 29%,” the researchers note.
Interestingly, the results revealed that older people are more likely to consider themselves European, with just 23% of 18- to 24-year-olds answering in the affirmative, as opposed to a third of those aged 55 and older.
The share of Russians who consider themselves European is also decreasing, although not as rapidly. In 2008, that figure was 35%. It now stands at 27%, with 70% answering no.
The latest figures have sparked debate over Russia’s role in the continent and the cause of the drop in European feeling. While some have noted Moscow’s having pivoted towards China as a possible reason, others suggested that Brussels’ hostile attitude to the country might also be to blame.
Or did the EU push Russia away, by ‘othering it’ from its version of ‘Europe,’ and attempting to expand its geopolitical reach, at Moscow’s expense? https://t.co/b0wp6x1bmV
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) March 18, 2021
The survey also asked participants about their perception of the West’s attitude towards Moscow. The results revealed that 23% believe Western nations treat Russia with concern, 18% with fear, and just 12% with respect.
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