Putin better than Stalin?

Time love for Stalin come from? If with “admiration”, “respect” and “sympathy” to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) Stalin in March 2016 was treated with 37% in January 2017, that number had grown to 46%. But, still, more than 80% of Russians support Vladimir Putin’s policy, moreover, 32% believe that they live in the best for Russia throughout its history — Putin period. For 29% of the best time — Brezhnev.

The Director of “Levada-center”, Professor, doctor of philosophy Lev Gudkov — according to the results of recent studies will tell about the current mood of the Russians. Is the transfer Mikhail Sokolov.

Mikhail Sokolov: today in the Studio of Lev Gudkov, Director of the “Levada-center”, declared the current government as a “foreign agent”.

We are talking about the latest data of public opinion polls, the mood of Russians. Let’s start with something good. Sociologists, as I understand it, this year we can congratulate a few anniversaries.

Lev Gudkov: Yes, 30 years as rehabilitated sociology and made the decision on creation of the Center for the study of public opinion. In fact, he started their activity only next year, because in January 1988, the academician Tatyana Zaslavskaya started to work.

Yes. And signed the first order to start actions. And by the end of the year went to the first surveys. We have this year, 15 years, “Levada-center”. In 2002, when we start to run into the bosses, the administration of the President and others, sacked the paddock, the whole team left the then Polls, created a new independent organization — Analytical center of Yuri Levada.

Mikhail Sokolov: that is quite difficult to live, we will talk. I wanted to briefly talk. You have completed an annual conference that is now clarified by sociologists? I don’t know, the discovery that Russian people are easily manipulated by propaganda, has no clear ideas about the future. What the opening of this season?

Lev Gudkov: I would say that the manipulation here has a very limited role. It is, of course, but the word “manipulability” we imagine that man is a blank slate and with it you can do anything. My point is that propaganda has raised the solid layer of the totalitarian mind, the Soviet consciousness, which is reproduced from those times. The current conditions of strengthening of the authoritarian regime, I would even say, its transition into the state of either simulation, or repeated late Soviet totalitarianism, it raises precisely those structures of consciousness that have developed in Soviet times. Therefore, the manipulation is a catalyst that is already in public opinion, in the minds of the masses.

Suppression of the free press, public space, communicative space, the war with civil society, strengthening the role of the political police, powerless position of public organizations led to the fact that the possibilities of understanding, rationalization, discussion, setting of new objectives for social and political activities were completely suppressed.

Mikhail Sokolov: if the Russians Feel the economic crisis associated with the foreign policy of Russia today?

Lev Gudkov: Feel it definitely. 83% say there is a crisis, three quarters have anyway to reduce consumption — it is very painful, but not catastrophic. The decline in living standards, about 15% of real income, is an average figure, for different groups is different there. It kompensiruet Crimean euphoria associated with the annexation, with the annexation of Crimea, with deployment in 2012, 2012, 2014 and 2015, a very aggressive anti-Western propaganda, anti-Ukrainian and feeling that Russia has regained status as a great power, that Russians are the chosen people.

Mikhail Sokolov: Even so — chosen people?

Lev Gudkov: that’s right 57% say, and quite steadily. This feeling of self-satisfaction from demonstration of their own strength, it compensates for or relieves the severity of the decline in living standards. That’s what we talked about at the conference is a very difficult, murky set of residual feelings of euphoria, national pride and anxiety of the uncertainty of the current situation.

Mikhail Sokolov: General assessment of the situation in the country, as seen in the plus or minus is?

Lev Gudkov: in plus due to the approval of the foreign policy and negative assessments of the situation in the country. The main provisions, as their population sees is the problems of the economic crisis, the fear of impoverishment. This is a very serious thing, some memory of the 1990-ies and the fear of total impoverishment before loss of certainty, poverty, unemployment. This is very serious. Therefore, the euphoria of the crisis, because of the feeling of insecurity decreases. And we see this bubble, which lasted two or three years, today, almost asleep.

Mikhail Sokolov: I saw a poll that 32% believe that they live in the best time for Russia, 29% think the best time of the Brezhnev. I think we first see our recent poll on the same topic and then discuss.

Mikhail Sokolov: How do you like our asociological a poll? Maybe we were unlucky that many people do not think this is the happiest time for Russia?

Lev Gudkov: On The Contrary. In fact, all the sore points and sensitive about what went on yesterday at our conference speech, all of them, or at least many of them, are marked.

Mikhail Sokolov: That is, the focus group turned out?

Lev Gudkov: Yes, only undeployed, of course, very short. In principle, Yes, and illusions about the future, because no other grounds of confidence, so pointless maybe hope, that tomorrow will be better than today, on the one hand, and expressed distrust of the government, critical evaluation, generally speaking, very widespread opinion about the corruption, selfishness, greed, lawlessness, the arbitrariness of the current government. This is almost half of the population thinks so. But that is what is transferred to a strong leader, a private infantilism of society is embodied in the idea of a national leader who protects the people want better and so on.

Mikhail Sokolov: At what level you recorded with the help of different charts love for Vladimir Putin?

Lev Gudkov: it’s Not love. It’s a complicated feeling, not to be confused with the approval of his activities with euphoria. Almost invariably, because of this opinion specified the entire system of propaganda and does not change. This 85%, almost always, because it is very ably supported, on the one hand, neutralizes any negative and critical information about it, the more that in the future, we will still legally forbidden to say anything.


Mikhail Sokolov: are You sure? And why should they, if 85% of love, why deny to criticize or offend the head of state?

Lev Gudkov: the Regime internally is extremely insecure feeling.

Mikhail Sokolov: Having 85% support?

Lev Gudkov: Because I do not understand where to wait for danger, hence the exaggerated use of force and harshness of the repression against critics. This is what is called an organized consensus. But the approval refers exclusively to the first person, all the anger, dissatisfaction, negative perceptions transferred to the underlying authorities.

Mikhail Sokolov: for Example, as with Dmitry Medvedev.

Lev Gudkov: If we look at the attitude of the government, governors, Medvedev, I’m not talking about the police, party and so on, we can see that Putin’s rating does not change, and in respect of all other branches of government is growing very negative attitude.

Mikhail Sokolov: It is a little can rise, then fall. He is below some certain numbers can not be lowered, for example, Medvedev, or the government.

Lev Gudkov: At some point, negative assessments of Medvedev outnumbered the positive responses. I think that the increase in economic turmoil and the problems will really hit him and translate in a negative plan.

Mikhail Sokolov: And the worst one yet- the governors, the Duma?

Lev Gudkov: The Duma.

Mikhail Sokolov: And she, for what, they are all correct vote, as they say?

Lev Gudkov: However, as it relates to the election and the hopes of the population, at the same time, with full confidence that the elections will not lead that it is a pure simulation of the will of the people, so they and poured a large share of irritation. People do not follow the activities of the Duma, but we are confident that this extremely corrupt political class, busy or holding of interests of Putin, Putin’s leadership, elite, or their own selfish interests, i.e. lobbying some private. In any case, the rating is extremely negative — corrupt, greedy, incompetent, putting themselves above the law, stupid and so on.

Mikhail Sokolov: However, people go to the polls, some part of them is waiting for positive results.

Lev Gudkov: some part is waiting really. Although the latter campaign showed minimal growth. If we look, we have one of these graphs, we see every four years, the growth of such organized optimism.

Mikhail Sokolov: That is, as soon as the TV starts to make people.

Lev Gudkov: Begins to spin, people are starting to somehow increase the hopes and expectations of a better life. But the last campaign almost did not give any noticeable growth, that is, it was in effect zero.

Mikhail Sokolov: there were year, the presidential campaign, people will be exactly the same with some optimism something to wait for. What is your forecast, will vote for another six years for Putin with all the negative things that they themselves are the people saying?

Lev Gudkov: I’ll make a little clarification: I’m speaking from my own name is my personal expert opinion. Because I don’t want the Ministry of justice once again hung at the “Levada-center”, for the whole organization responsibility for what I say.

There is no doubt that vote with a very large result. I don’t know whether it will be possible to achieve the planned administration of the President 70% turnout, it never was, so it is quite difficult to achieve. Now 63-65% say they are ready to vote and that Putin has no alternative. This is an artificial effect that combines unopposed, understanding that with this organization, no political candidates from the outside, from the real challengers will arise, simply will not allow, on the one hand. And on the other hand, hopes that Putin will still be able to ensure the welfare, which was between 2002 and 2008.

Mikhail Sokolov: And about the prices for oil people do not know that everything depends on them?

Lev Gudkov: That’s the hope of a miracle.

Mikhail Sokolov: And you can see the hope of a miracle?

Lev Gudkov: It Is Possible.

Mikhail Sokolov: do you Believe in the miracle that oil prices will rise? Such a question is asked?

Lev Gudkov: How can we measure, only measuring the real causes of what is happening and hope that and suddenly in spite of everything that happens.

Mikhail Sokolov: I read one of your surveys: increased confidence in the ruble. Almost every second Respondent considers it advantageous to keep their savings and the savings in rubles. The course has improved, the ruble strengthened, but nobody knows for how long, and people want to believe is real.

Lev Gudkov: every time You shift ways of thinking is very rational, convincing, characteristic of very narrow and quite educated, competent group in the entire population. 90% of the population has never been dollars, they don’t know what it is. Of course, according to our surveys, about 30% follow the fluctuations of the dollar and other currencies, but the majority do not deal with the currency.

Mikhail Sokolov: I would say that they are with large sums of rubles not dealing.

Lev Gudkov: They live from paycheck to paycheck, from pension to pension, with no savings. This was yesterday at the conference and was discussed. Therefore, what they have, they have to rely on it and believe it is reliable enough currency. Especially in the province of price spikes are not as noticeable because there is less imported products, inflation and rising prices go more smoothly, not as irregular as in the capital.

Mikhail Sokolov: I want to ask you in connection with the elections about the possibilities of one or another of the “opposition”. First, about possible successors. No one is eternal under the moon. Are there surveys people who can inherit Vladimir Putin? Stalin was, there was some set of people in the Politburo, and now?

Lev Gudkov: No, none of the possible successors of Putin does not occur. Moreover, the idea of a possible successor carefully extruded from the information space.

Mikhail Sokolov: That is, Putin forever?

Lev Gudkov: Putin forever.

Mikhail Sokolov: And how Shoigu?

Lev Gudkov: Shoigu assistant, servant, artist, as well as Lavrov. And the gap between the popularity of these two, and Putin is more than 50 percent. It does not competitors, not opponents, not successors. It burned empty space around a single figure. You talk of love and stuff to Putin of the population — it is not.

Mikhail Sokolov: that’s not love, what?

Lev Gudkov: This is the recognition of its status and its role.

Mikhail Sokolov: the Status of a king?

Lev Gudkov: the leader, the king as you want, the President, the head of state. The embodiment of all the symbols and values of collectivity, that which it is given, and is primarily Imperial, nationalist idea of a strong power, great power.

Mikhail Sokolov: And “United Russia” is not a collective heir, for example?

Lev Gudkov: No. Please, you can see the “United Russia” — a party which represents the interests of either the government or the oligarchs, the bureaucracy completely corrupt organization.

Mikhail Sokolov: 30% — the oligarchs, 28%, security forces and 26% were civil servants, their interests are expressing how you think. Nevertheless, they vote for it.

Lev Gudkov: Because it is power.

Mikhail Sokolov: the power to vote for—?

Lev Gudkov: Again, when you say how people participate in the vote, despite the economic crisis, distrust of government, belief in its corruption, mafia, as people say. Motives are not the same as in democratic societies and democratic countries. The majority sees these elections as the public ritual of obedience, of loyalty.

Mikhail Sokolov: the Plebiscite, well. In Germany it happens: you disapprove of our Fuhrer?

Lev Gudkov: this is Partly by force, partly a demonstration of loyalty, in part, as in your poll, it is a sincere approval and support. The authoritarian syndrome, by the way, your poll revealed. There is a huge mass of people that comes to the polls and vote care for someone, because they don’t care. It is necessary to go, because they fear the consequences, threats of the local administration. We have a pretty big part of living in small towns and rural areas is highly dependent on the local administration, and the administration of relevant indicators.

Mikhail Sokolov: At the conference you said that when 70% of the entire state, the high share of social benefits, people on the hook.

Lev Gudkov: the State controls more than 70% of all financial assets. For comparison, in 1999 it was 26-27%. This means that increased sharply the population dependent on the public sector, from government and from distribution. I quoted a figure, in the “Gazette,” she was: 19% of all incomes of the population are social welfare payments — that’s huge. On the one hand, this means that the population for the most part poor, on the other hand, it is on the hook really.

Mikhail Sokolov: About the opposition then. In these conditions, not Turkmen, but the moving up elections, what is she looking at? Will participate the traditional set of candidates from the so-called parliamentary parties, Bulk, Yavlinsky collected.

Lev Gudkov: Heavy breath, because the problem is not only the repression and suppression of the opposition, limitation, or rather banning the provision of their own position, access to media, to television in the first place, the inability to Express their views — it is one piece. Another problem, much more serious, from my point of view, serious is the failure of our opposition. The opposition is mainly herself, she is not ready to present a perspective broader populations — that is its problem. I think this is especially true of the old opposition, Yavlinsky, Kasyanov and others, that is, immigrants from the former nomenclature, structures, or from the manual. We did have a new interesting policy Navalny, Gudkov, they do develop. But the chances of them exit real political space and struggle there.

Mikhail Sokolov: But still the problem is there is no platform or in the absence of a leader?

Lev Gudkov: the Leader needs to show something, he needs to convince. The strength of the opposition lies in the ability to unite the interests of an increasing number of people, to connect, to synthesize the interests of different groups of the population. It is the power, the breadth of the coalition is the strength of the opposition. I do not see that ability for the opposition, no these are not put forward slogans and lead such work.

Mikhail Sokolov: Let’s get to the sacred question: what about the Crimea is that the polls show?

Lev Gudkov: 84-85% approve. Nothing is changing here.

Mikhail Sokolov: And what about the thesis that was typical of the older generation: that anyone can manage, if only there was no war? Now Russia is in fact two wars, one in the Donbass, another in Syria and seem to approve all this?

Lev Gudkov: largely Yes. Afraid and approve.

Mikhail Sokolov: There are some measurements, for example, the Donbas, something to say?