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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russians Most Positive In East, EU Survey Says

More Russians believe that their financial circumstances have improved over the past 12 months than people in Eastern and Central Europe, according to a European Union survey of public opinion released Wednesday.


The survey, taken from more than 1,000 respondents in each of 16 countries surveyed between last Nov. 1 and Dec. 5, found that 21 percent of Russians believed their household finances had improved over the previous year while 53 percent thought they had deteriorated.


Surprisingly, those figures compared favorably with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe as a whole.


Only 13 percent of Central and Eastern Europeans believed their finances had improved, while 56 percent said they had deteriorated.


On most other questions, however, Russians had a less positive outlook than in most of the other countries surveyed. In virtually all cases the blackest views came from Ukraine.


According to the EU's annual Eurobarometer survey, 71 percent of Russians are dissatisfied with democracy, compared with 57 percent in Eastern and Central Europe as a whole.


A disturbing 75 percent of Russians believed there was no respect for human rights in their country, against 49 percent elsewhere.


As for the market economy, 53 percent of Russians believed it was the wrong way for the country to go, while only 31 percent thought it was right. In the region as a whole, 27 percent believed the market to be wrong while 51 percent said it was right.


In Ukraine, only 4 percent said their household finances had improved, while 82 percent thought they had grown worse. Fully 77 percent of Ukrainians believed there was no respect for human rights in their country, while 75 percent believed Ukraine was headed in the wrong direction. Both in Russia and in the region as a whole, 47 percent thought their country was misdirected.