Head of Levada Center: Russians’ patience will only last 2 months
“The patience of society will last for two months”, said the head of the sociological research organization, Levada Center, and predicted protests due to falling living standards
By mid-summer, Russians may stage mass protests due to falling living standards, according to Lev Gudkov, head of the Levada Center.
“I think that the society will have enough patience for another two months. That’s for sure. But after two months people will begin to realize that the limit has been reached. Russian patience is a very important factor,” Open Media quoted Gudkov as saying.
According to the sociologist, Russians can start protesting against quarantine measures, demand financial support from the government and greater economic stability in general.
“In the absence of national protest leaders and network organizations nationwide, tensions will begin to increase, but will not find a way out. Of course, to some extent,” Gudkov said.
He recalled that the dissatisfaction with quarantine measures gradually increases, as people lose their jobs or face a reduction in wages, while up to 70% of the population do not have savings at all in case of crisis.
“In a month and a half, we can see specific forms of protest, people will exit to the streets or other extremes associated with forced self-isolation,” the sociologist believes.
Almost half – 48% – of Russians considered the anti-pandemic measures introduced by the authorities to be inadequate, the Levada Center poll showed. “The president persuades the population to stay at home, walks away from direct responsibility and says nothing significant,” Gudkov explained.
In early April, a Levada poll showed a record drop in the president’s approval rating to 59%. He has never reached such a level during Putin’s presidency. “Why the “rating” is decreasing is more or less clear: the incomes of the population are falling, uncertainty is growing, there are no prospects, especially for those who do not work in state-owned enterprises, those employed outside the budgetary sphere,” Gudkov said, commenting on this poll result.