21 April

At the start of the year, the following phobias dominated in the traditional and social media in sum: the rise in food prices, police actions and court decisions, and government clampdown on social media. According to the Index of Phobia Experience, they were the police actions and court decisions, invasion of small settlements by wolves, and the fear of revolutions and subsequent upheavals.

“We see that people focus on the news and current events around them. If we talk about prices, basing on the past experience, people are wary of the government measures to freeze prices for some goods, believing that in the long term this has the risk of supply shortage in retail (suppliers will not want to maintain prices at any cost). In the social media, it was the reaction to Twitter slowdown, which actually relates to the fear that the state interferes too much into the sphere of personal communication. Interestingly, at the same time, people do not oppose "putting things in order" on the Internet and reasonable control, while the anxiety is generated by blockings of websites that are carried out in a rather heavy-handed manner," Peter Kirian, CROS Director for Media Projects and a co-author of the “National Index of Anxieties”, says.

“The events of January and February contributed to a serious increase in the level of anxiety. Protests in support of Navalny were the main trigger. While some people were afraid that they would lead to social upheaval and destabilization, others were worried about the actions of law enforcement officials that were regarded as too harsh. Politics in general played a fairly large role in the index for Q1 2021: this included the anxiety about the future of social media, fears of the consequences of aggravated Russian-American relations, as well as the new escalation of tensions in Donbass. Surprisingly, against this background, coronavirus-related anxiety has faded: unlike other countries, the agenda associated with its new strains is not at all relevant for Russia, and fears about vaccination have clearly subsided. A new, unexpected and at the same time ingrained fear is the raids of wolves on small settlements and their attacks not only on domestic animals, but also on people. This topic appeared in Russian regions, and the federal media were forced to pay attention to it,” Andrey Lebedev, CROS head of analytics and a co-author of the research, comments.

You can learn further details about the release here (in Russian) https://www.cros.ru/ru/exploration/research/2121/