Poll: 26% of Russians Afraid of Expressing Opinions

The next time I, or anyone, cites a poll from Russia, take the results with a grain of salt. A recent survey conducted by an independent polling company has found that over a quarter of Russians fear expressing their own opinion. 23% feared expressing it in the workplace, and 17% to family.

But why?

From The Moscow Times (click for more statistics):

The most popular explanation given for the aversion of speaking openly was fear of possible backlash on people’s own lives — 56 percent of respondents thought fear of retribution was the main reason. One fifth of those questioned, 20 percent, said they thought people did not want to face the truth themselves.

It says something about a country’s safety and viewpoint in the world if over half the population believe backlash is a threat for stating an opinion.

So Vladimir Putin’s approval rating at 90%? Not necessarily. The recent survey of Crimea that said 94% of the population would prefer to suffer over being part of Ukraine? Definitely not true. This sort of rhetoric and falsifying data is what led to the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. What could it possibly lead to next, if not checked?

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