Russians name rising prices as the main problem facing society
Russians consider rising prices the main problem facing their society, according to survey data from the independent Levada Center shared with Meduza. This opinion was held by 58 percent of survey respondents.
At the same time, the level of concern about price increases has been steadily declining in recent years — in 2016, more than 80 percent of respondents named price hikes as a problem in Russia, while in 2018 this number ranged from 60–70 percent.
Those surveyed also named poverty (40 percent), corruption (39 percent), and rising unemployment (36 percent) as important issues. Notably, the survey results showed that today Russians are paying more attention to corruption: compared to 2015 when about a quarter of respondents (24 percent) considered this an important issue, in recent months this figure has stabilized at 39–40 percent.
In the social sphere, Russians are most worried about the stratification of society into rich and poor (26 percent), lack of access to many types of medical services (23 percent), and education (20 percent).
At the end of February, Bloomberg listed Russia among “five hotspots” where rising food prices could provoke political unrest. The Kremlin’s spokesman refuted this analysis — stating, “we have different data” — and Russia’s Economic Development Ministry dismissed it as “speculative.”