(Entrance to Red Square, Moscow; photo by Natylie S. Baldwin, 2015)
Some of the most interesting findings of the 2016 poll of Russian elites, including those at ministerial positions in the executive branch of Russian government, Russian media figures, members of the Duma, and major business people:
- More elites – 32.1% – regard the inability to solve domestic problems as the “utmost threat” to Russia’s security than any other threat, including the growth of the U.S. military at 7.4%.Terrorism is ranked second on the list, with 22.2% rating it at “utmost threat.” Threats to security posed by border conflicts with the states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) declined and reached an all-time low in 2016, with only 4.5% of Russian elites stating that a border conflict with a CIS state was the “utmost threat” to Russia’s security.
- Less than 10% of elites would choose the United States as a coalition partner. Asked which coalition partner they would choose – the European Union, China or the United States – 33.7% of those surveyed answered that none of the options would be suitable.
- For the first time since 1993, more elites report that a country’s military, and not economic, potential is decisive in international relations. In 2016 a majority of elites (52.3%) agreed with the statement that “military force will always ultimately decide everything in international relations.”
The full report and summary is available here: