Other responses suggest that Russians do want democracy, but democracy of a particular sort, with a powerful central government, something closer to what the country has today than some, like Mr. Veretelny, had envisioned. More than half the respondents, 53 percent, said they placed a higher value on “order” than on human rights.
“We had so much hope, so much faith, so much inspiration for the future,” said Mr. Veretelny’s wife, Svetlana. “There was such a feeling of freedom and hope. We were all so happy seeing change ahead.”
But now, according to the polling agency, only 10 percent of respondents view those days as a victory for democracy. It said the number of people who called the events a tragedy had grown to 39 percent, from 25 percent at the anniversary 10 years ago.
“It is what it is,” said Mr. Veretelny, who has slipped from hope into passivity. “We just have to figure that this is what we ended up with.”
|A bread line in the USSR. The end of massive starvation is now seen|
as a tragedy by 39% of Russians.