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Two In Three Russians Think Putin Will Stick To Existing Political Course - Poll
Interfax - 4.3.12 - JRL 2012-62

Moscow, 3 April: Most Russians (54 per cent) do not expect that the regime in the country will toughen after Vladimir Putin returns to the presidential post. One-third (33 per cent) do not rule out such a turn of events, with a significant share respondents (27 per cent) sure that they personally will not be affected by this in any way. This was relayed to Interfax by Levada Centre sociologists on Tuesday (3 April), with reference to the results of a national survey conducted in the middle of March. In the opinion of 66 per cent of respondents, Putin will continue the policies that he has been pursuing over the last 12 years after he takes up the post of president (76 per cent shared this view a month ago). While 52 per cent are not expecting any reshuffles in the presidential team, 32 per cent hope for a radical renewal in the ranks of Putin's associates - they forecast that the new president will bring in energetic and honest new faces to join the new government.

Among the tasks that Putin should focus his attention on as Russian president as a matter of priority, respondents pointed to boosting the economy (59 per cent), fighting corruption (46 per cent), restoring social equity and improving the lives of average people (44 per cent), instituting order (42 per cent), ensuring the observance of laws both by the people and the authorities (28 per cent).

Moreover, people are calling on the president to pay special attention to fighting crime (23 per cent), developing science, culture and education (21 per cent), strengthening the country's defence capability (19 per cent) and Russia's positions on the international arena (18 per cent), facilitating Russia's spiritual renaissance (13 per cent) and so on.

In the course of the survey, two-thirds of respondents (68 per cent) recommended that Putin discuss his actions with members of the public, the protest movement and leaders of the opposition (17 per cent are against). Forty-four per cent hope that such president-initiated discussions will take pace, whereas 35 per cent do not forecast this, and 15 per cent believe that Putin will take revenge on the opposition for their criticism of his actions during the election.

In response to the respective question from sociologists, 53 per cent of respondents said that they were not opposed to practically all powers being concentrated in Putin's hands once again, which they think will be to Russia's benefit. Twenty-six per cent said they were against this, saying that this did not bode well for the country.

According to Levada Centre information, after Putin's victory at the 2004 presidential election, such views were held by 68 per cent and 20 per cent of respondents respectively.

Meanwhile, 43 per cent of respondents would like for Putin's third presidential term to be his last, and for another politician to take the topmost office in the state. Seventeen per cent would not mind one more presidential term for Putin, 6 per cent are not opposed to Dmitriy Medvedev replacing him as president in 2018 and another 34 per cent have not decided about this as yet.

Keywords: Russia, Government, Politics - Russian News - Russia


Moscow, 3 April: Mo