Fruit and food market in Nikel, Russia. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Civil rights and democratic freedoms rank in bottom of worries among Russians

Rising prices and growing poverty top the list of concerns.
September 11, 2017

Although up 1% since last August, only 4% of Russians say they are worried about restrictions of civil rights, democratic freedom, including press freedom and freedom of speech, a recent poll from the Levada centre shows.

61% of the respondents in the survey rat inflation on top, while 45% point to poverty followed by a third worried about growing unemployment rates.

Despite high worries, 2017 consumer prices in Russia are likely to end at the lowest rate for the last 25 years. With an increase of 3,3 percent year-on-year in August, the inflation rate is the lowest monthly since May 2012 and not since 1991 has the yearly inflation been lower. 1991 was the last year of the Soviet Union, when most products were sold at prices fixed by the state.

Russia ranks 148th of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index, but according to the Levada poll, that do not worry too many. Also on the World Freedom Index, Russia scores only 20 points of possible 100. The rating declined from 2016 to 2017 following the heavily flawed 2016 State Duma elections, which further excluded opposition forces from the political process.

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