(RIA Novosti) – Almost one in four Russians (23 percent) expect the human race to be contacted by representatives of an alien civilization in the next 50 years, according to an opinion poll published on Friday.
But a majority of Russians (53 percent) said they did not believe in aliens.
“Those who believed that contact would be beneficial for humanity were two times greater than those who believed the opposite,” the Public Opinion Foundation pollster said in a statement.
The poll was carried out to mark Cosmonauts Day, which commemorates Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin’s groundbreaking flight into space in 1961.
The findings come shortly after an influential archpriest in Russia’s Orthodox Church said people often mistook angels and demons for aliens.
The poll, which quizzed 1,500 respondents, had a margin of error no greater than 5 percent.