What are Russians afraid of?
Rising food prices and declining savings have topped the ranking of Russians’ fears, while its second, military conflict fears continue to grow, according to the results of a public opinion poll, conducted by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM).
"The qualms over rising prices and international conflicts continue to be the major factors triggering concern. The index of fears for the first problem increased from 23 to 27 points from May to June. A figure that showed the level of fears of Russians regarding military conflicts rose to 19 points in March and fluctuates within 19-20 points," VCIOM reports.
In third place are health problems and difficulties in obtaining medical care, its index rose from 0 to 8 points.
Personal and family problems are the least of Russian citizens' concerns, RIA Novosti reports.
An associate professor of Stock Markets and Financial Engineering of RANEPA, Vasiliy Yakimkin, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted in the first place that inflation is growing slightly faster for poor citizens. "The costs of cheap food products bought by the poorest sectors of the country's society in supermarkets are rising at a much faster pace than official inflation. According to various estimates, the growth is about 10-15%," he explained.
At the same time, the expert noted that the Central Bank's statistics are quite accurate. "The Central Bank estimates it by the consumer basket, CPI index, and includes there all the basic price components, including comfort class and business class, not just low-income citizens," the associate professor of Stock Markets and Financial Engineering of RANEPA said.
In addition, he explained what caused the fears of citizens with low incomes. "If inflation continues to grow at double-digit rates, then they will have a scanty consumer basket. Now a number of cheap goods in supermarkets are being squeezed out by more expensive ones. It's also good that inflation is constrained by low consumer demand. But at the same time it negatively affects our economy, therefore, of course, it is necessary to somehow stimulate the demand of Russians," Vasily Yakimkin concluded.
The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, in turn, explained why Russians have become more afraid of war with foreign states. "First, the population of Russia is very politicized, people are closely following the international situation. So the current confrontation between Russia and Western countries, the US and the European Union, of course, does not remain without the attention of the population," the expert explained.
"Second, the perception of this threat is growing: the media shows the approach of NATO's infrastructure to our borders, problems with Ukraine, Ukraine's attempts to pit the NATO and the US against us. It's a normal natural indicator," the political scientist believes.
In addition, he pointed out that the current growth of fear among Russians is due to the fact that earlier people had hoped for Donald Trump's coming to power in the US. "There was a hope that the situation would change for the better under Trump. But when people were convinced that the format of Russia's relations with the US remains the same, it was disappointing. And at the same time this frustration prompted people to worry about their future, their security," Andrey Suzdaltsev summed up.