19 Dec, 2018
The number of Russians who want to go back to the USSR has reached 66 percent in 2018, setting a 15-year record, a fresh poll revealed.
It’s an 8 percent increase compared to last year when 58 percent of those surveyed said “yes” to the question if they regretted the fall of the Soviet Union, the Levada-Center poll said.
The numbers have never exceeded 65 percent since 2004, while the absolute record was set in 2000, when 75 percent gave an affirmative response. Levada-Center has started asking the population this question in 1992, a year after the USSR fell apart.
The majority of those nostalgic for the Soviet Union were people older than 55. However, in recent years such moods have also been growing among those aged between 18 and 24 years, the pollster said.
60 percent of the respondents also expressed the belief that the collapse of the USSR could’ve been prevented.
The people mainly miss the Soviet Union because of the destruction of the joint economic system of its 15 republics (52 percent); the loss of a sense of belonging to a great power (36 percent) and the growth of mutual distrust and enmity among former countrymen (31 percent).
The increase in the number of those missing the USSR was triggered by this year’s pension reform, which increased the retirement age by five years, Karina Pipiya, a Levada-Center researcher, said.
“The people usually explain their nostalgia for the Soviet Union with mainly irrational perceptions about the strong economy and prosperity during that period, completely forgetting about the lack of essential goods and the food stamp system,” she said.
“Romantic attitude towards everything Soviet and lack of historic knowledge” among the younger generations may lead to dangerous consequences, including “rehabilitation of the Stalin’s Purge, rewriting history and complete devaluations of the democratic reforms [in Russia],” Pipiya warned.
1600 people from 136 towns and villages in Russia took part in the survey, which was carried out by Levada-Center between November 22 and 28.