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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Muscovites Have Mixed Views on Crisis




More than a third of Muscovites expect Russia's economic crisis will eventually culminate with angry people taking to the streets f but almost the same number believe the situation will stabilize and life return to normal within a year's time.


More than 500 Muscovites aged between 18 and 65 were questioned over the phone in a poll conducted by the Russian Market Research Company on Sept. 12 and 13.


Vyacheslav Kozlov of RMRC said that optimism was the prevailing sentiment among Moscow residents, who he said retain attitudes from their recent relative prosperity.


"Pessimism has not had time to spread and people still continue to irrationally reject the crisis, running on their psychological reserves," Kozlov said in a phone interview Monday.


Forty-one percent of Muscovites questioned said they expected the crisis would end and life stabilize within a year. Another 22 percent of the RMRC poll's respondents expected the economic crisis would last for two years or more. Eight percent said they thought that Russia would not recover from its economic and social woes in the foreseeable future. RMRC put the margin for error in the poll at plus or minus 5 percent.


But if two-thirds of the respondents were thus optimistic and predicting a relatively quick recovery from the collapse of the banking system and the national currency and the government's insolvency, Muscovites were also pulled by a strong pessimistic current.


Two of out three respondents said the crisis had either a strong or very strong negative impact on them. More than 35 percent said they had seen their savings devalued, while another 23 percent reported either partial or complete loss of their deposits in Russian commercial banks.


More than 20 percent of the poll's respondents said at least one member of their family was either fired or forced to take an unpaid leave.


Two out of each three families whose members were questioned in the poll said they were unable to afford certain basic food products because of the soaring prices.


More than 35 percent of the poll's respondents said they expected public disorder at some point, while another 21 percent expected to see interruptions in supplies of electricity, heat and water within the next two or three months.


Yet Kozlov, the director of RMRC's business-to-business research department, said the overall mood of respondents differed markedly from what RMRC researchers had expected, as well as from what has been reported by the local media.


"We expected panic, but got perplexity" in most of the answers, he said.