Russians call their country 'great power' - poll

Fifty-seven percent of Russian citizens recently interviewed by the Levada Center are convinced that Russia is playing quite an important role in international affairs today, and 11 percent of those polled believe that their country is even 'making the difference' in the world today.

Fifty-seven percent of Russian citizens recently interviewed by the Levada Center are convinced that Russia is playing quite an important role in international affairs today, and 11 percent of those polled believe that their country is even 'making the difference' in the world today.

Twenty-four percent of respondents described Russia's role as not very important, and 5 percent called it 'secondary', Levada Center sociologists told Interfax.

The public opinion survey was conducted in 46 Russian regions on March 13-16 and involved 1,600 people.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents described Russia as a 'great power', 27 percent of those polled took the opposite view, and 6 percent were unable to answer the question.

When asked how they want Russia to develop in the future, 49 percent of respondents said that they would like to live in their country 'which would have high standards of living, albeit would not be one of the most powerful countries in the world', while 47 percent of those polled said they want Russia to remain a 'great power, which other countries would respect and fear.'

Sixty percent of respondents called on Russia to continue broadening economic, political and cultural ties with Western countries, whereas 29 percent want such contacts to be curtailed. Eleven percent of those polled were unable to answer this question.

When asked to assess how the attitude toward Russia and the Russians has changed abroad in the past six months, 35 percent of respondents said that "they started to fear us even more', 26 percent said 'they started to hate us even more', and another 11 percent of those polled said 'they started to despise us even more'.

When answering the same question, a mere 16 percent of respondents said that foreign countries started to respect Russia and the Russians more, 8 percent said 'they started to understand us better', and 2 percent said 'they started to like us more'. At the same time, 17 percent percent of those polled believe that foreign states' attitude toward Russia and the Russians has not changed in the past six months.

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