Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

November 1, 2001
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]

In a recent poll by the National Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), almost 70% of respondents said they had already adapted, or almost adapted, to the changes taking place in Russia. And 52% of respondents described their general mood as satisfactory or good. Almost 60% of respondents said they were completely, mostly, or partially satisfied with their circumstances. In other words, all is well and we're undoubtedly moving in the right direction.

But there's another side to all this. The same poll indicated that 53% of families had seen their diets deteriorate over the past decade, and 55% of families can't afford the quantity and quality of clothing they could a decade ago. And 63% of families consider that they can't give their children a good education, while 67% say they can't get adequate health care. It's scarcely worth discussing incomes. Half of respondents earn such low wages that the sums involve become microscopic when divided by the number of dependants. Even achievements in developing democracy - the major victory of the Yeltsin era - turn out to be somewhat fragile. In any case, only 4-6% of respondents (on the margin of statistical error) believe themselves capable of influencing decision-making, whether locally or nationally, in any way.

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