Tag Archives: Poll

Its Own Duma Election

A site dedicated to all things Russian Navy called Flot.com has an interesting Internet poll.

The site asks visitors to vote for the party they feel will provide the greatest assistance in developing the Russian Navy.  Click the image below to see the results as of today.

Looking for the Pro-Navy Party

Pardon one for concluding this is pretty compelling.
 
Sixty percent of those responding say the KPRF will be most supportive of the Navy’s development.
 
Bucking Russia’s electoral law, Flot.com still permits an “against all” option.  So 18 percent say no party will provide the greatest assistance in the development of the VMF.
 
United Russia comes in third at about 10 percent.
 
And to think the “party of power” organized a GPV in which the largest portion will go to the Navy.
 
A pretty damning indictment.
 
Yes, it’s an Internet poll, and it’s influenced by its clientele.
 
No offense to a good site is intended, but Flot.com’s visitors could be older, and still more Soviet than Russian.  Who knows?  But they’re also knowledgable and interested in their subject.  Hence, they represent an elite, tough, and skeptical audience. 
 
The GPV notwithstanding, the yedinorossy have failed to convince them they’ll fix the Navy’s problems.
 
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New Poll on Conscription

FOM's Poll on Conscription

The Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) just published a major poll looking at Russian attitudes toward the callup and obligatory military service.  It’s 48 pages, but here are some highlights.

The poll was conducted in July, with 3,000 respondents in 204 populated places in 64 of Russia’s regions.

Fifty-two percent of respondents favor a mixed manning system combining conscription with contract service, and 23 percent favor the callup only.

Sixty-four percent support the announced plan to cut conscripts and increase contract soldiers, although only 22 percent would support taking money from education and health care to pay for them.  Survey participants on average thought 34,500 rubles was worthy pay for contractees.

Fifty-five percent liked reducing conscript service from two years to one while 37 percent did not.  In the 18-30 age group, 65% supported the shorter service term.

In the population as a whole, 29% believe one-year service has reduced dedovshchina and “nonregulation relations” against 46 percent who feel nothing’s changed by it.  There were fewer of the former and more of the latter among respondents claiming intimate knowledge of army life.

The FOM poll showed strong support for a number of Defense Ministry initiatives to “humanize” conscript service.

Fifty-four percent were critical of draft evaders, but 34% were sympathetic toward them.

Finally, buried deep in the results, participants were asked for their views on the state of affairs in the Russian Army in coming years:

  • 19% said it will improve.
  • 19% said it will worsen.
  • 35% said it will stay the same.
  • 26% said hard to answer.

However, when asked to compare military service conditions today against those 10-15 years ago, more respondents said they are easier (39%), and many fewer said they are harder (14%), by comparison with Russians asked the same question in 2002 (just 6% and a whopping 64% respectively).

Military Prestige

Russia experienced a drastic decline in the prestige of military service in the 1990s.  Generals, officers, and politicians have debated efforts and initiatives to resurrect it ever since.

The military’s prestige is represented or reflected in many things:  pay,  living conditions, budget resources, political emphasis, applications for VVUZ admission, etc.  But it’s still a slippery notion not easy to quantify.  One even occasionally reads that, in Soviet times, every girl wanted to marry an officer.  Not so today.

On February 23, 2000 [Defenders Day], acting RF President Vladimir Putin saw it this way:

“The prestige of military service has started to be reestablished.  The confidence and personal worth of people in shoulderboards has been reborn.”

“It’s not simple for our army today.  Perhaps harder than for other state structures.  Much depends today on the understanding and patience, on the continued patience of soldiers and officers.  And their wives.  On the feeling of responsibility for the state inherent in the military man from time immemorial.”

“I am absolutely convinced of the fact that we together will without fail restore the prestige of the Armed Forces, the prestige of the Armed Forces as civic-mindedness and patriotism!”

“I very much would like for our boys just as in former times to begin dreaming again of the profession of military pilot, military engineer, tanker, artilleryman, missileman, and for their parents to be sure that their sons made the correct choice.”

In late 2011, we’ve found out how Krasnaya zvezda’s readers see it.  The homepage of the Defense Ministry daily’s website has been asking its visitors about the prestige of the military for some time now. 

Is the Profession of Officer Prestigious in Russia?

And the results . . .

It's Not

Only 8 percent of 1,260 respondents say yes.  Only 12 percent say yes or probably yes.  Fifty-four percent say no, and 77 percent — three of every four — say no or probably no.

Not much progress in rebuilding the military’s prestige over the last 11 years.

Of course, it’s an Internet poll, it’s not random sampling, and it wouldn’t stand scientific scrutiny.  Nevertheless, it’s very revealing because it’s right on the [electronic] front page of the Defense Ministry’s newspaper.

Levada’s reported for some time on sagging esteem for the officer’s profession.  Last month only 6 percent of respondents picked army officer as the most respected profession in society.  Five percent picked criminal авторитет.  Only 2 percent considered army officer the most profitable career.

If it’s this difficult to make officer a prestigious profession, imagine how hard it is to make professional enlisted service in the Russian military a respected job.