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Levada Center: 70 percent of young people don’t consider Russia a European country

Less than a third (29 percent) of Russians consider Russia a European country, while 64 percent are of the opposite opinion, according to the results of a survey conducted by the independent Levada Center back in February.

The Levada Center, which is considered a “foreign agent” in Russia, conducted its survey from February 18 to 24, among a representative, national sample of the urban and rural population that included 1,601 people over the age of 18 from 137 settlements in 50 Russian regions. The study was conducted using in-person interviews.

For comparison, in September 2008, 52 percent of Russians called Russia a European country, while 36 percent thought otherwise. 

According to the latest poll, the opinion that Russia in a European country is most widely held among respondents over the age of 55 (33 percent of this age group agree). This opinion is less popular among young people aged 18–24 — 71 percent of young Russians don’t consider Russia a European country, compared to 23 percent who do. 

The share of Russians who consider themselves Europeans has also fallen from 35 percent in 2008 to 27 percent in 2021. At the same time, the share of those who don’t consider themselves Europeans has grown from 52 percent to 70 percent. The latter opinion is most widely held among Russians under 40 years old: 74 percent of respondents aged 18–25 don’t consider themselves Europeans, along with 75 percent of those in the age group 25–39.

The number of those who believe that Russia is regarded with fear in the West has decreased: [from] 25 percent in 2018 [to] 18 percent in early 2021. At the same time, the share of those who believe that the West regards Russia with concern [remains] stable — 23 percent. Twelve percent believe that Russia is regarded with respect; in 2018 this option was chosen by 18 percent of respondents. 

Levada Center

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