The majority of Russian citizens, 57 per cent, called the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the USA 'the event of the year'. The war in Afghanistan was in second - only 5 per cent of respondents named it the event of the year, the Kursk lifting operation was in third with 3 per cent and the war in Chechnya was in fourth with 2 per cent. These were the results of a public opinion poll conducted by the Public Opinion Fund on December 22. The poll was conducted among 1,500 people in 100 cities and settlements located in 44 regions and republics of Russia. Another question of the poll was the most positive and negative events of the year 2001. 12 per cent mentioned such positive factors as a rise in the standard of living, salaries, student allowances and pensions, 10 per cent named the Kursk retrieval operation and 2 per cent estimated the establishment of closer ties between Russia and the USA as well as with other NATO members as the most positive event. The most negative events were emergencies and terrorists acts, such as the flooding in Siberia and the crash of the Tu-154 plane over the Black Sea (17 per cent), the war in Chechnya (14 per cent) and a drop in the standard of living and high inflation (13 per cent). Last year respondents named the Kursk tragedy and the war in Chechnya and the most negative events of 2000.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia