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Russians upbeat on future of Medvedev-Putin tandem - poll

Dmitri Medvedev and Vladimir PutinMoscow, 14 December: Most Russians maintain that the joint work of Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has long-term prospects and that the tandem is unlikely to collapse in the near future (67 per cent compared to 63 per cent last year), sociologists from the VTsIOM (All-Russia Public Opinion Research Centre) told Interfax on Tuesday (14 December).

According to the all-Russian survey, 15 per cent of Russians (compared to 11 per cent last year) saw the union between Medvedev and Putin as unstable. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said that Medvedev and Putin governed the country in an effective way together (60 per cent compared 65 per cent last year). At the same time, 19 per cent of respondents held the opposing view (compared to 22 per cent last year).

Last year, those respondents who saw the Medvedev-Putin tandem as effective largely attributed it to their consistent team work (17 per cent). At present, the actual results of their efforts and improvements made in
the living standards of the population were referred to most (12 per cent of respondents).

Furthermore, the stable situation and order in the country, as well as consistent team work were also examples of their success (according to 10 per cent of the respondents). In addition, the social policy pursued by the authorities (8 per cent), a successful anti-crisis programme (7 per cent), a suitable course for the country's development (6 per cent) and an improvement in Russia's international status (5 per cent), among other things, were some of the examples of their effective work.

Those Russians who saw the work of the tandem as ineffective mainly attributed it to a lack of development and positive changes in the country (18 per cent). Last year, opponents mostly attributed it to a drop in living standards (18 per cent, against 13 per cent this year).

Increasingly, respondents have been speaking of corrupt authorities (from 6 per cent last year to 11 per cent this year), a lack of attention paid by authorities to ordinary people (from 4 to 12 per cent) and the insufficient control over the enforcement of decisions in the provinces (from 4 to 9 per cent).

Eleven per cent of respondents said that an increase in prices and inflation were the main examples of the ineffective work of the tandem. Eight per cent mentioned the economic crisis, and 8 per cent were convinced that Putin would rule the country more effectively on his own.

The opinions of Russians about people ruling the country were very different compared to surveys from 1994 and 2000. In the past, "people in power" were primarily seen as those "concerned solely with their material and professional welfare" (53 per cent in 1994 and 44 per cent in 2000). At present, they were more often perceived as an excellent team of politicians leading the country in the right direction (42 per cent compared to 5 per cent in 1994). However, a third (31 per cent) perceived their leaders to be seeking to improve their welfare alone.

The all-Russian VTsIOM surveys were conducted on 21-22 August and 25-26 September 2010. A total of 1,600 people were surveyed in 138 towns in 46 Russian regions, territories and republics. Statistical discrepancy was no higher than 3.4 per cent.

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