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Over 60 Per Cent Of Russians Happy With All Power Concentrated In Putin's Hands


Improved living standards and the revival of the country's economy have been Vladimir Putin's main achievements over the 10 years he has been in power - as prime minister, president and prime minister again - while a high level of corruption in the country has been his failure, people in Russia believe, according to an opinion poll.

Putin became Russian prime minister in August 1999, then he was president for two terms and in 2008, after the inauguration of newly elected Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev, he was again appointed as the prime minister of the Russian Federation.

People in Russia see Putin's main achievements as president and prime minister in improving their living standards and increasing wages and pensions (22 per cent), in the country's economic development (17 per cent) and in increasing optimism and hopes for a speedy improvement of the state of affairs in the country (9 per cent), Interfax was told on Monday (27 July) by researchers at Levada Centre who quoted the results of a Russia-wide opinion poll.

Among Putin's other achievements those polled named his efforts to put things in order in the country and to maintain a stable political situation (8 per cent), to strengthen Russia's international positions (7 per cent), to improve relations with Western countries (5 per cent), to resolve the Chechen problem (4 per cent), etc.

At the same time, 8 per cent of people in Russia could not name any successes by Putin.

In the opinion of those polled, the fight against corruption and bribe-taking (35 per cent), efforts to restrain oligarchs and limit their influence (23 per cent), and the fight against crime (19 per cent) have been his least successful actions.

Replying to a relevant question, almost half of the respondents (48 per cent) said during Putin's years in power the gap between the rich and the poor in the country had increased. On the other hand, 15 per cent expressed the opposite view and another 31 per cent said the gap remained the same as it had been under President Boris Yeltsin.

In the opinion of 27 per cent of those polled, over the past 10 years theft and corruption among the country's leadership have increased, 19 per cent disagree with this and 45 per cent believe there has been no change.

At the same time, according to Levada Centre, people in Russia believe that Putin "is dealing with the country's problems successfully and appropriately" (28 per cent), hope that "he will continue to cope with emerging problems in the future" (35 per cent) and "cannot see any other person on whom they could rely" (31 per cent).

During the poll, which Levada Centre conducted on 17-20 July among 1,600 people in 46 Russian regions, 63 per cent of those polled said it was a good thing that at present practically all power in the country is concentrated in Putin's hands. The number of those who believe that this does not bode well for Russia is four times smaller (16 per cent).

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