Survey of Russian Elites, Moscow, Russia, 1993-2020 (ICPSR 3724)

Version Date: Jun 1, 2023 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
William Zimmerman, University of Michigan; Sharon Werning Rivera, Hamilton College; Kirill Kalinin, Stanford University

Version V8 ()

  • V8 [2023-06-01]
  • V7 [2022-07-28] unpublished
  • V6 [2019-09-11] unpublished
  • V5 [2018-06-13] unpublished
  • V4 [2018-05-09] unpublished
  • V3 [2016-06-23] unpublished
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The Survey of Russian Elites consists of one dataset that covers the years 1993, 1995, 1999, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020. The data were collected as part of a larger study of mass-elite interactions in post-Soviet Russia, with particular emphasis on the links between the domestic political economy and foreign policy perspectives. The dataset includes questions on international relations, threat perceptions, foreign policy decision-making, domestic politics, and economic issues.

In particular, respondents were asked their opinions about the national interests of Russia, the role of military force in international relations, the greatest threats to stability and security, the enlargement of the European Union, NATO expansion, the need for order in Russia, and how closely Russia should follow the path of developed countries. Additional questions asked respondents about their level of influence on foreign policy decision-making, how they find out about world and domestic events, how often they discuss such events with friends or family members, whether the United States represents a threat to Russia, whether they favor giving military aid to other countries, the importance of various foreign policy goals to Russia, the influence of various governmental institutions on foreign policy, and the permissibility of using military force. Questions focusing on domestic issues asked about their attitudes regarding government spending, the rights of individuals versus those of society, the role of political competition, the responsibility of the government to its citizens, the importance and meaning of democracy, and the type of political system that is most appropriate for Russia. Respondents were also asked about Russia's relations with other countries (e.g., Ukraine, Belarus, Japan, and China), various forms of property ownership, their willingness to open a new business, national pride, political protests, the environment, their views toward immigrants and other societal groups, and Russia's political and economic future.

Demographic questions include nationality, education, occupation of the respondent and other family members, sex, age, country of birth, marital status, language spoken in the home, income level, household composition, political party affiliation, religion, military service, and foreign travel.

Zimmerman, William, Rivera, Sharon Werning, and Kalinin, Kirill. Survey of Russian Elites, Moscow, Russia, 1993-2020. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2023-06-01.

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National Science Foundation (SES-1742798), National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, University of Michigan. William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan. Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies. Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, University of Michigan. Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan. Department of Political Science, Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Hamilton College. Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center. Office of the Dean of Faculty
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

1993 -- 2020
1992-12 -- 2020-03
  1. The P.I. identified a coding issue with variable SERVICE for survey year 1995. This issue was corrected when the 8th survey wave was appended to the dataset.


Interviews were conducted with high-ranking individuals employed in a broad range of institutions in Moscow: the media, state-owned enterprises, private businesses, academic institutions with strong international connections, the executive branch of the government, the federal legislature, and the armed forces and security agencies.

Longitudinal: Trend / Repeated Cross-section

Moscow-based elites working in the major public and private sectors of Russian society.


Several Likert-Type Scales were used.



2023-06-01 The 1993-2020 dataset was resupplied by the P.I. with 2 new variables. Minor value label and question text corrections were incorporated by ICPSR. The study documentation was resupplied to include the latest version of the P.I. codebook.

2022-07-28 The 1993-2020 dataset was resupplied by the P.I. to include the latest 2020 wave of data. Minor variable label and value label corrections were incorporated by ICPSR. The study documentation was resupplied to include the latest versions of the P.I. codebook, questionnaire, and an updated ICPSR codebook.

2019-09-11 The former Dataset 1 (1999 data only) was retired per P.I. request; all 1999 data are available in the combined 1993-2016 dataset. Furthermore, the combined 1993-2016 dataset was resupplied by the P.I. to correct data entry errors and minor value label corrections were incorporated by ICPSR. The study documentation has been updated to include a resupplied version of the P.I. codebook and an updated ICPSR codebook.

2018-06-13 Author names were corrected, and the codebook was updated to reflect this correction.

2018-05-09 Title was changed from "Survey of Russian Elites: 1993-2012 [Moscow, Russia]" to "Survey of Russian Elites, Moscow, Russia, 1993-2016." This dataset combines data from the previously deposited datasets to include the sampling year 2016.

2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Zimmerman, William, Sharon Werning Rivera, and Kirill Kalinin. Survey of Russian Elites, Moscow, Russia, 1993-2020. ICPSR03724-v8. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2023-06-01.

2016-06-23 Dataset 2 was updated to address an error in the data.

2014-07-28 1. A second dataset has been added that reflects the years 1993-2012. 2. Dataset 1 was updated with variable and value labels. 3. Variable names in Dataset 1 were changed to correspond with the variable names in Dataset 2.

2003-08-27 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.