Hamilton College Levitt Poll: Russian Elite 2016 Survey – Perspectives on Foreign & Domestic Policy

Entrance to Red Square Moscow

(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:


Foremost Russia Expert Stephen F. Cohen Interviewed by John Batchelor: Is War with Russia Possible?

“Finally, Cohen reports, an influential faction in Kremlin politics has long insisted, behind closed doors, that the US-led West is preparing an actual hot war against Russia, and that Putin has not prepared the country adequately at home or abroad. During the past two weeks, this struggle over policy has erupted in public with three prominent members of the Russian elite charging, sometimes implicitly but also explicitly, that Putin has supported his “fifth column” government headed by Prime Minister Dmitrii Medvedev. They are not seeking to remove Putin; there is no alternative to him and his public approval ratings, exceeding 80 percent, are too high. But they do want his government replaced and their own policies adopted. Those policies include a Soviet-style mobilization of the economy for war, and more proactive military policies abroad, especially in Ukraine. Cohen wonders whether US and NATO policymakers are sleepwalking toward war with Russia or whether they actively seek it. ”


Please listen to this important interview  at:  https://audioboom.com/boos/4518912-nato-guns-along-the-russian-frontier-stephen-f-cohen-nyu-princeton-eastwestaccord-com