Crisis 'strengthens' happiness of Russian people
Russian people have adapted to the new economic conditions and are even happier than before the crisis, according to the results of the poll, conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM).
"The index of happiness has increased and even exceeded pre-crisis values. It can be said that our people adapted to new conditions and know how to be happy not because of something, but in spite of," VCIOM’s Director General Valery Fyodorov said.
Of course, according to the respondents, there are still difficulties, especially those related to money: low salaries, low living standards, low pensions and unemployment, Interfax reports.
However, despite the high index of happiness, Russians are not particularly optimistic about the possible improvement in their financial situation: the share of optimists - those who believe that they and their families will live better in the near future, has grown only two points since January - from 58 to 60.
The director of the Center for Political Information, Alexei Mukhin, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the Russian people's consistently high index of happiness can be explained by the independence of citizens. "Russians are accustomed to rely on themselves, although they expect the government to fulfill its social obligations. In this connection, the West's calculation that the financial crisis or external sanctions will have some effect on the psychology of Russians is not justified. In general, the index of happiness is linked, most likely, to the fact that everything is okay at home of many, and it does not depend on the financial situation to a large extent," he explained.
At the same time, Alexei Mukhin explained the sober assessment of future prospects by the psychological stability of Russians. "We are realists and do not cherish unrealistic hopes for the future: this is not pessimism, but the psychological stability of citizens, which is a sign of a stable, developed civil society," the director of the Center for Political Information stressed.
The director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergei Markov, also expressed confidence that the Russian people's index of happiness is linked to their mentality, not to reality. "The index of happiness shows the general cultural and historical preconditions, rather than the concrete standard of living. It is clear that the poorer countries are ahead of the richer in the index of happiness. The main thing, I would say, is the religious Orthodox consciousness that requires a person to be happy and accept this world as it is. There are much more important things than sanctions, inflation, etc. This is a fundamentally different approach to assessing one's life," he pointed out.
At the same time, a weak growth in expectations from the future indicates a lack of clear prospects for an exit from the current state of the economy. "I think this is due to the fact that Russians do not yet see a way out of the crisis. They see stabilization, but so far there are no visible prospects for a way out of the situation," Sergei Markov concluded.