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Most Russians prefer planned economy over ‘free market’

The New Cold War 19 February 2016

Most Russians favor a return to a Soviet-style planned economy, according to a recent poll by the independent Russian pollster Levada Center, published on its website on 17 February (in Russian, here).

Asked whether they would prefer a planned or a free market economy, over half of those polled (52%) opted for the former. About a quarter (26%) preferred the latter, while 22% were not sure.

Support for both systems dropped slightly compared to March 2015. Then, 55% favored a planned economy, while 27% wanted to see a free market economy in Russia.

Respondents were also asked to choose between three political systems: the Soviet system, the current Russian system, and “Western-style democracy”. Again, the Soviet model proved the most popular with 37% of respondents, while 23% opted for the current Russian model. Only 13% favored the Western system, while 8% opted for ”other”. Almost one-fifth of respondents (19 %) said they didn’t know.

It appears that both the Soviet and Western systems are slightly more popular then last year, while the current Russian system lost 6 %. The poll was conducted amongst 1,600 people in 137 population centers across 48 regions of Russia, and has a maximum margin of error of 3.4%.

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