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Russians divided over state holiday - poll

Moscow, 12 June: Nearly half, or 46 per cent of the Russians, believe that Russia has gained from proclaiming its sovereignty [on 12 June 1990], while 30 per cent support the opposite opinion, according to the result of a recent opinion poll carried out by the Yuriy Levada analytical centre and involving 1,600 people across Russia.

Over the last four years, the number of those who assess Russia's sovereignty positively has grown from 33 per cent to 46 per cent, while the number of those who are undecided has dropped from 24 per cent to 18 per cent.

People's stand on this issue depends on their age, education and well-being. The supporters of the sovereignty prevail among the young, educated and well-doing people, while the elderly, badly educated and low-income people more often think that it did harm to the country.

[Passage omitted: 29 per cent of those questioned could not answer when and why the state holiday on 12 June was established, and only eight per cent could give its correct name]

According to the results of another poll, carried out on the eve of the holiday by the Bashkirova & Partners company, 58 per cent out of 1,500 people who were questioned are optimistic about Russia's future, and 34 per cent are pessimistic.

As many as 66.3 per cent of the respondents of the 18-29 age group believe in Russia's bright future.