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Russians do not want to feed the Caucasus20.12.2012 | 15:44
The situation in the North Caucasus remains tense and unlikely to change in the near future - this was shown by the sociological survey "Russians on ethnic tensions, nationalist slogans and situation in the Caucasus", carried out by the "Levada Center" on December 14. More than half of the respondents supported the slogan "Russia for the Russians" and "Stop feeding the Caucasus", and believe that illegal immigrants from neighboring countries must be expelled from Russia.
"The survey was conducted on November 23-26, 2012, on a representative nationwide sample of urban and rural population among 1596 people aged 18 and over, in 130 settlements of 45 regions of the country. Distribution of answers is given as a percentage of the total number of respondents, along with data from previous surveys. Statistical error in these studies does not exceed 3.4%", say the authors of the study.
60% consider the situation in the North Caucasus Federal District tense. According to 54%, it remains the same as earlier; 47% are sure that in the coming years nothing will change in the region in this plane. It should be noted that since 2006, the latest figure varies from 39% (August 2008) to 66% (September 2010). At the same time, the first figure is almost unchanged since 2005. That is, in the last seven years for most Russians the situation in the North Caucasus is stable strained, without any prospects of normalization.
The slogan "Stop feeding the Caucasus" is supported by 65 of the 100 respondents; 23% do not support it. In November 2011, this position was shared by 62%, in January same year - 57%. Thus, since the time the slogan was included in the questionnaire of "Levada" its support has peaked. The idea of "Russia for the Russians" is much older. Since 2002, the number of Russians who call this slogan Nazi varies from 19% (August 2011) to 32% (November 2009), and now - 23%. There are less of those who unconditionally support this idea compared to the year-ago indicator - 15% against 19%. But the number of "reasonably" supporting this idea has increased slightly - from 40 to 41%.
The idea that illegal immigrants need to be expelled from the country was supported by 64%of respondents; for the past six years this is the highest figure. And only 20% believe that it is necessary to legalize guest workers and help them with employment. Answering the question "What kind of feelings do you personally feel about people from the southern republics living in your town, region?" almost all respondents divided into two groups: some irritation and hostility towards visitors from the southern republics (42%), others are indifferent to them (46%). Only 8% of the population of Russia feels sympathy and respect towards the southerners (5 and 3% respectively). For comparison, in December 2008, the respect and affection was expressed by 4%, anger and resentment - 14%; while 61% had "no special emotions".
Curiously, despite the disappointing statistics, the majority of Russians do not feel ethnic tension: rather not - 46%, definitely not - 20%. At the same time, respondents were strongly disagreed, responding to the question "Are massive bloody ethnic clashes possible at the present time in Russia?": probably yes - 32%, rather not - 36%, definitely yes and definitely no - 11% respectively. We should note that even in January 2011, only 6% of respondents categorically denied such a possibility, while 45 out of 100 people said "probably yes". The most favorable situation in this respect was in November of 2009: definitely yes said 3% of Russians, probably yes - 20%, rather not - 39%, definitely not - 25%.
When asked "Are massive bloody ethnic clashes possible at the present time in the place of your residence?" only 3% of respondents answered "definitely yes", the opposite view is shared by 23%. "Probably yes" and "probably not" gained respectively 20 and 45%.
"Levada Center" does not accompany the survey results with an analytical note. Therefore, we afford to make the preliminary findings without claiming, of course, the professional evaluation. Based on the fact that answering the question of the possibility of massive bloodshed on a national basis in Russia the respondents have divided into two pretty large groups, we can draw two conclusions: either 36% of respondents do not see the obvious, or 32% are easily subject to propaganda. The second seems more likely. This conclusion is indirectly confirmed by the fact that the Russians do not feel ethnic tensions, despite the fact that the curve of nationalist sentiment in the country is gradually creeping up. Thus, we can assume that the growing popularity of nationalism in Russia is connected to artificial factors at a greater extent, rather than to objective reasons.