The share of Russians who describe themselves as patriots is now at 92 percent, the highest number in 18 years, according to a public opinion poll conducted by the state-run agency VTSIOM.
“In 2018 the share of Russian citizens who see themselves as patriots… was 92 percent, which is the highest in 18 years,” according to the report released by VTSIOM in connection with Russia Day, which is celebrated on June 12.
In 2000, 84 percent of Russians considered themselves patriots, after which the figure fluctuated between 80 and 88 percent, researchers noted in their report.
People were then asked about the typical traits of a patriot, with multiple answers possible. Fifty-nine percent said a true patriot is someone who loves their country; 39 percent said it is someone who strives to change things in their country; 38 percent answered working for the benefit of ones country; 29 percent said patriots stand up for and defend their country from attacks; and 19 percent said patriots do not fear speaking the truth about their country, even if it is bitter. Only three percent said that patriots should ignore their countrys drawbacks and not talk about them.
The head of the agencys research department, Stepan Lvov, said that Russia is experiencing “the evolution of patriotism” – from an everyday feeling of unity to active participation in the life of the nation.
Another poll conducted by VTSIOM in April showed that 49 percent of Russians consider their country to be a great world power, down from 57 percent a year ago. However, about one-third told researchers that they expect Russia to become a leading world nation over the next 10 to 15 years.
When asked what makes their country strong and respected, 26 percent replied it is the military, 22 percent said “the strong spirit and will of the Russian people,” and 17 percent attributed Russias success to the “good and powerful president,” Vladimir Putin.
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