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

#3 - JRL 7028
Russians call drugs, crime, terrorism greatest social problems

MOSCOW. Jan 21 (Interfax) - Russians believe drug addiction, crime and terrorism are the most dangerous problems and the main sore spots of their nation.

In a poll of 1,500 individuals taken in mid-January by the Public Opinion Foundation, 36% called drug addiction problem No. 1, while 34% said crime was the greatest problem, and 30% were alarmed by growing terrorism.

Among other problems troubling Russians, the interviewed named low living standards (28%), unemployment, corruption and the situation in Chechnya (27% each), inflation (14%), uncertainty in the future (13%), environmental problems and the economic crisis (12% each), and a possible foreign armed threat (10%).

The poll showed that 76% believe Russians are more divided than united, and only 8% disagreed.

In the opinion of 30%, this stems primarily from economic stratification, 23% pointed to psychological factors, 10% to domestic political problems, lawlessness and general chaos in the country.

At the same time, 6% felt the social and political changes of the past few years have divided people, and 4% named the absence of a common national idea.

Nevertheless, the respondents remain optimistic. For instance, 57% found it quite possible that Russians could become more united in the future, and only 20% categorically refused to believe in such a possibility.

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