Remembering the default of Russian rouble in August 1998, Russian Center of Studying Public Opinion decided to analyze whom Russians accuse of that financial crisis and if a crisis of this sort can ever happen again.
Russians still associate the mistakes of the past with ex-President Boris Yeltsin. Most Russians (57%) believe that Yeltsin and his circle caused he default. Fewer Russians blame the Cabinet of Sergey Kirienko (21%), the oligarchs headed by Boris Berezovsky (16%), and democrats-reformers headed by Anatoly Chubais (по 16%). Russians are not inclined to accuse international organizations of the default – only 7% of Russians blame the International monetary Fund and foreign creditors for the crisis.
Analysis of the public opinion polls data for the last 4 years reveals that the August crisis of 1998 is still well remembered in Russian society. Despite the favorable economic situation in Russia in the recent years, almost half of the surveyed people believe that the crisis similar to the default of August 1998, can happen again any time. For the last 4 years, 43-47% of the respondents have this opinion. There are fewer optimists who believe that Russia will not encounter financial cataclysms in the foreseeable future (32-37%).
The most impoverished social groups are inclined to have a similar dreary outlook. For this reason, elderly people and the poor state that a crisis can be encountered again. Younger generations and wealthy people have more optimistic outlook.
The survey was conducted on July 17-18, 2004 in 100 towns and cities of Russia, with 1, 539 participants.