Russians stand for collecting intelligence worldwide - poll
Russians are certain that foreign security services are spying in their home country and support the proportionate actions of domestic security services on a global scale.
Two-thirds of Russians (66 percent) believe that domestic security services should collect intelligence information in other countries: tap conversations, read correspondence and obtain classified materials.
Ten percent say this is unnecessary, and 24 percent are hesitant, according to the Public Opinion Foundation, which polled 1,500 respondents in 100 towns and cities in 43 regions in early December.
Nearly half of the respondents (48 percent) suggested that Russia should collect intelligence in some countries rather than globally. Sixty-one percent acknowledge the possibility of collecting intelligence in a country which maintains friendly relations with Russia, and 21 percent argue that this is not acceptable.
Russians think that the United States is of most interest for domestic security services, and 36 percent insist it should be the primary target of intelligence officers. Ten percent mentioned China, 9 percent - the UK, 6 percent - Japan and Germany, 5 percent - Europe as a whole and EU member countries, 3 percent - "potential enemies" of Russia, and 2 percent - NATO countries, France, Iran, Ukraine, former Soviet republics, Middle East countries, Islamic and Arab countries.
The respondents defined as the primary objective of intelligence operations of Russian security services the provision of the country's defense capacity and security (30 percent).
They also said it was necessary to possess information: forewarned is forearmed (12 percent), know the enemies and their plans (5 percent), protect the country from the threat of terrorism (3 percent).
The overwhelming majority of respondents (81 percent) are confident that Russia is a target of foreign security services. Twenty-one percent said that allows foreign countries to be informed about Russia's domestic situation and 19 percent said that was a way to harm Russia if necessary.
In the opinion of 49 percent of Russians, domestic security services are doing enough to protect the country from operations of foreign intelligence services and 21 percent disagreed.