In the early 1990s, many members of the Russian elite were proponents of the country’s liberal reforms. Moreover, American-style democracy and market economics were popular among Russia’s general population. However, as Figure 1 shows, the generation of Russian elite that were born in the 1960s, a generation that was once among the most pro-American, has now become rather anti-American, even compared to other generations. Ominously, there are few pro-American individuals among the younger cohorts of the Russian elite. Mass surveys also show that most Russians, including the younger generations, hold negative attitudes toward the United States. Furthermore, college education and high social status seems to exacerbate anti-American sentiment, leading the elite to become more anti-American than the public-at-large. This memo addresses the nature of this drastic change and discusses some policy implications.
Russia’s Elite: What They Think of the United States and Why
PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo No. 273
by Eduard Ponarin