Just one third of Russians approve of the work done by Mikhail Kasyanov's Cabinet. This was the result of surveys carried out by the VTsIOM research agency. These have shown that over the last four years the Cabinet has always had the lowest approval rate among the government bodies. There is an especially surprising gap between the popularity ratings of the Cabinet and the president. In January 2004 only 37% approved of the work of the Cabinet while 42% disapproved. On the other hand, 77% approved of the president's work while 13% disapproved.
In June 2000, after the formation of the Cabinet, 34% approved of its work while 47% disapproved. The difference between the approval ratings for the president and his Cabinet has only widened over the last four years.
It is interesting that public opinion tends to ascribe improvements in people's living standards to the president while negative factors such as rising prices, unpaid wages etc are attributed to the Cabinet. In September 2003 for example, 52% of respondents claimed the Cabinet was responsible for rising living costs and just 30% said the Cabinet helped to raise wages and pensions. For the president, however, these figures were 21% and 49% accordingly.
In October 2003 just 24% of respondents said they thought the Cabinet could change their life for the better while 44% disagreed and 29% said they were unsure.
Rescuers found the pilot of one of the two Su-34 fighters that had collided in midair in the Far East on January 18