13 Fascinating Facts About The Majority Of Russians

Eighty-three per cent Russians approve of Vladimir Putin as president, a number that has soared from 54% last year since his annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine as well as the Sochi Olympics.

Westerners may wonder why Russians so happily approve of a man who is becoming an international pariah.

And that might get them wondering what else Russians think and what Russians are like anyway.

Taking care to avoid unfounded stereotypes, we’ve turned to data from polling centres, the World Health Organisation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and Pew Research Center to identify facts about the majority of Russia’s 144 million citizens.

56% of Russians aren't pleased with the quality of their drinking water, the worst of the 36 nations ranked by OECD.

56% of Russians think Russia needs democracy.

59% of Russians support open borders with Ukraine, though only 16% want reunification.

60% of adult Russian males smoke tobacco.

A record 65% of Russians are satisfied with their freedom to choose what to do with their lives. By comparison, that number in America is higher at 79% but 12 points lower than it was in 2006.

A fan has their face painted in the Olympic park on day six of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Source: Gallup, June 2014 poll

67% of Russians fear law enforcement agencies.

Women sit in a police vehicle after they were detained and later charged and fined by the police for prostitution, during a raid in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk May 27, 2014.

Source: Levada Center Moscow (2010)

69% of Russians believe the U.S. is one of the five most hostile nations towards Russia.

74% of Russians live in cities, which are concentrated in the south-west. Much of the giant country is sparsely populated.

76% of Russians believe state-controlled media is reliable when seeking information about Ukraine.

83% of Russians approve of Vladimir Putin as president. Confidence is lower in their national government at 64%.

94% of Russians age 25 to 64 graduated from high school, the highest percentage in the OECD. A developed-world-leading 54% have also graduated from college. It should be noted, however that Russian students rate below average on international tests.

96% of Russians disapprove of the U.S. government, while 94% disapprove of the European Union's leaders.

Now get to know another major set of people.

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