Immigration, culture in decline more important to Russians than wars - poll

The influx of immigrants tops the list of threats in the eyes of Russians. Thirty-five percent of 1,600 adults polled by the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) in 42 regions in June think the colonization scenario is realistic.

A decline in culture, science and education worries 33 percent of the respondents.

The list continues with environmental disasters and terror attacks on strategic sites (28 percent), depleting oil and gas reserves (25 percent), a split in the authorities (24 percent), depopulation caused by a low birth rate (23 percent), and a sharp decline in living standards (22 percent).

Nineteen percent of Russians deem a space threat realistic, and 17 percent fear epidemics. Thirteen percent are worried about a possible loss of border territories and the probability of a civil war.

Few fear external threats: 11 percent are concerned about the possibility of wars with the West, the South and the Southeast, and 10 percent worry about possible military conflicts with neighbors or a coup backed by Western security services.

Ten percent are afraid of a revolution and the loss of state sovereignty and 9 percent think the country may break up into several states. Only 6 percent call the scenario of fascists taking power in the country realistic.

The sociologists said that certain threats were upgraded in the list over the past year: for instance, the share of respondents fearing a split of the authorities grew from 17 percent to 24 percent, the number of people concerned about a decline in living standards increased from 17 percent to 22 percent, and the percentage of concerns about a civil war went up from 7 percent to 13 percent and a war with the West, the South and the Southeast from 5 percent to 11 percent.

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