Over half of Russians believe Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was the best head of state in the past century, followed by Bolshevik Revolution mastermind Vladimir Lenin and dictator Joseph Stalin, a poll by Levada Center has revealed.One of the authors of the poll summarizes Russian social attitudes.
Gorbachev and Yeltsin’s time brought “only defeats” and no material prosperity, political analyst Sergey Chernyakhovsky explained.Before you get too smug about something in the Russian character loves a tyrant, make sure you understand the symbiosis between desperate people and the politicians who exploit that desperation without ameliorating it.
“Gorbachev’s rule ended up with the dissolution of the USSR, which is still considered by Russians as the 20th-century catastrophe,” said Aleksey Grazhdankin, deputy head of the Levada Center. Attitudes towards Yeltsin worsened following his 1992 reforms, which lead to inflation and the closure of many businesses, he added.
Harsh politicians are always perceived better than liberal ones, Grazhdankin said: “Freedom brings uncertainty, while people prefer certainty and clear perspectives… Rights and freedoms are too abstract, and the majority of people don’t need them. First of all, people appreciate the right to social guarantees and labor.”