Kremlin pollster says stability — the hallmark of Putin's years in power — isn't what most Russians want anymore

12:10, 8 august 2017

Speaking at a youth forum on Tuesday, Valery Fedorov, the head of the state-owned VTsIOM polling agency, warned that Russian society’s demand for stability — the hallmark of Vladimir Putin’s 17 years in power — has dissipated and been replaced by a demand for changes.

According to Fedorov, Russians are responding to the end of the country’s years-long financial crisis and the simultaneous absence of a large-scale economic recovery. This atmosphere has given rise to “insecurity about the future,” Fedorov said, calling it a dangerous trend. “Revolutionary attitudes appear when a crisis has ended and things start getting better, not when the crisis is underway,” the pollster explained.

“In this situation, people’s patience runs out and they start making demands, and it’s in this situation that demands for changes emerge,” Fedorov said, adding that Russians' demand for stability is “moving to the periphery.” Referring explicitly to next year’s presidential election, he warned that “today’s political battle” in Russia will decide whose vision for reforms prevails.

In late June, commenting on nationwide anti-corruption protests, Valery Fedorov said in a television interview that 15 percent of Russians make up the unpatriotic “shit” who regularly criticize Vladimir Putin. “These are the people who have no love for our Russia. These are the people who have no desire to make it better. These are the people who are always ready to criticize and protest, whether they have a reason or not,” Fedorov said, arguing that young people made up just a fifth of recent anti-corruption protests. He blamed the media for exaggerating the presence of youths in this movement.