Some 29% of Russians gave no presents for New Year's this year, according to a survey conducted January 10 (1,500 individuals in the national sample) by Public Opinion. Another 10% could not remember if they had given any presents (a sign of the length of the holiday perhaps), declined to answer or found it difficult to say what they had given friends and relatives.
The survey found that candy, chocolates and other sweets were the most frequent gift item (17%), followed by cosmetics and perfume (15%) and souvenirs, toys and clothing (each with 9%). Gifts of money were made by 6% of those surveyed. Furthermore, 5% of the sample gave household items (dishes, bed linens, towels, etc.), and another 5% gave electronics (audio and video equipment, mobile phones, watches, etc.) Books, flowers and jewelry each were given by 2% of the sample. It was notable that almost a third of those polled (32%) said they received no gifts, with 12% stating that they did not remember or did not want to say.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building