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Poll: no improvement under Sobyanin

Sergei Sobyanin with Two Other Men in front of Coca-Cola Outdoor Stand
Most Muscovites believe that a year after the arrival of the Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin the quality of Moscow's leadership has not changed compared to under the reign of former mayor Yury Luzhkov.

These are the results of a survey conducted by leading pollsters Levada-Center in early October.

Police worse

Judging by the results of the poll, under Sergei Sobyanin the worst results concerns the police. No changes in the work of the police were registered by 61 percent of respondents. A similar survey in May saw 60 percent answer the same.

Some statistics indicate a turn for the worse, however. In the spring after Luzhkov was removed, law enforcement officials' activities were given positive approval by one quarter of those surveyed. Now only 19 percent approved of the police's work in the October polling.

Last May, 4 percent of respondents said the force was "worse" or "much worse" and in early October 13 percent of respondents answered that the police were "worse" or "much worse."

Housing better

The most positive changes noted with the arrival of Sobyanin were in housing services and public transport. With housing services, an improvement was noted by 32 percent compared with 22 percent in May.

Public transport saw 34 percent of respondents seeing an improvement as opposed to 17 percent in May.

Polarization underway

Head of the Voting Technology Institute, Yevgeny Suchkov, told Kommersant that the results were balanced.

"There is a polarization of public opinion taking place. Sobyanin's administration lacks any real mechanisms to influence this," said Suchkov.

"Real solutions to problems such as traffic jams require years and hundreds of millions of dollars ­ and the mayor has neither. He also can't publicize his solutions, as was the case under Luzhkov, due to a lack of a well-though-out information policy."

Freeze prior to elections

Head of the Yabloko party and former Moscow Duma deputy, Sergei Mitrokhin, said that Sobyanin's ratings would continue to fall.

"Before the completion of the federal elections, he won't start any major projects, such as building roads, which might create additional inconveniences for citizens and lower the authorities' ratings. What's more, Sobyanin doesn't explain what his plans are ­ what he plans to do is closed-off information and key Luzhkov documents such as the Genplan [city development plan] remain unchanged."

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