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Racist Sentiments Grow in Russia — Survey

MosNews, Aug. 15

The number of people with racist views in Russia has increased by more than 20 million, a respected daily reported Monday citing the results of a survey carried out by the All-Russian Public Opinion Center (VTsIOM).

The survey revealed that the number of people with these views had gone up from 11% to 16% within a year, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported. The Levada Analytical Center said its research showed that 58% of Russians supported the idea of a “Russia for Russians.”

However, the paper said experts were not inclined to exaggerate xenophobic sentiments in the country. According to the VTsIOM survey, 45% of respondents said their ethnic affiliation was more important to them than their citizenship.

41 percent said inter-ethnic tensions had been growing recently, but only 17% said the same about tolerance.

The Levada Center said 25% of Russians would back a ban on non-ethnic Russians occupying senior civil service posts. Nearly 30% said they would approve of moving Caucasus and Chinese people from the territories that historically belonged to Russia. Another 31% of Russians suggested, “the number of non-ethnic Russians living in Russian cities should be limited.”

The paper said that in parallel with growing racist sentiments a reverse trend was taking shape too. The number of those who said Russia was a multi-ethnic country whose citizens should not be discriminated against on ethnic grounds increased from 49% to 53% in a year.

Vladimir Zharikhin, the deputy director of the Institute of the CIS countries, said: “Eighty-eight percent of Russians are ethnic Russians. Therefore, when only half of them say that Russia should be only for Russians, it testifies to a serious internationalist trend among our people.” According to him, “the complete failure of the migration service has an extremely negative effect on the situation.”

Original article

(Posted on August 15, 2005)

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