Russia undergoing ‘stagnation’ – poll
About a third of all Russians believe their country was undergoing "stagnation" similar to the one the Soviet Union experienced prior to its collapse, a poll published Thursday said.
Some 32 percent of the respondents said Russia was either “stagnating or slowing down,” the respected Levada Center survey showed — the highest such showing in a decade.
Only 24 percent said the country was experiencing growth, and another 29 percent said that Russia was going through a period of stability.
The word “stagnation” has powerful connotations for Russians, who associate it with the Leonid Brezhnev era of the 1980s when the Soviet Union entered a terminal period of political and economic drift.
The same word was used by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday, when he accused the ruling party — in power for decade — of squeezing out its political competition and making the country resistant to change.
“Our political life (has) started showing symptoms of stagnation,” Medvedev said in a video blog address.
Levada analysts said their poll results showed that Russians were anxiously awaiting political changes from the Kremlin, which has preferred a go-slow approach.
“Our society grew tired of change in the 1990s,” Levada Center Deputy Director Alexei Grazhdankin told the Gazeta.ru website.
“But by 2006, we started witnessing the reverse, when people again developed a need for growth,” he said.