New Levada poll shows Russians decreasingly willing to identify Russia as a European country:
From 52% in 2008 (vs. 36%) to 29% in 2021 (vs. 64%).
However, perhaps even more tellingly, this percentage goes DOWN with age.
Just 23% of 18-24 y/o’s identify Russia as Europe, vs. 33% of 55%+ y/o’s.
Could it be that young Russians just have a self-hating “racist” vision of Russia as an oasis of “Asiatic barbarism” (and other Western tropes) while considering themselves to be “cultured Europeans”?
Nope, doesn’t appear to be the case either.
Speaking of themselves personally, 23% of 18-24 y/o Russians identify as European, vs. 31% of 55%+ y/o’s. That is, virtually the same figure as they give for Russia the country.
This suggests that anti-Putinism, which does become more pronounced at younger ages (though not really reaching any kind of solid majority), is not necessarily interlinked with increased Occidentopholia.
(This would make Russia unlike both the Ukraine and Belarus in that respect).
My own personal take is that Europe is for the most part a constructed identity. “Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong. Europe is a geographical expression.” – Bismarck.
However, to the extent that it exists, obviously Russia is far closer to it than to similarly constructed/artificial “Eastern” or “Asian” identities.
That said, it is often the more closely related cultures and nations that have the most acrimonious relations, and that is especially true with respect to modern Russia/European relations. With some minor exceptions in the Far Left and Far Right, who tend to use Russia as a blank canvass for their frustrations with their own regimes, Europeans and Americans are deeply hostile to Russia and Russians. Moreover, despite a much greater degree of economic policy convergence – the USSR is long gone – the cultural/values gap between Russia and the modern West of SJWism and CRT is arguably greater than during the Cold War. A degree of “social distancing” from them (in the current lingvo) and what passes for modern European identity is the optimal policy.