72 percent of Russian people approve Putin's activity
Vladimir Putin took the office of the Russian president five years ago, on March 26th. Russian Public Opinion Research Center, known for the Russian initials as VCIOM, conducted a special research, which was devoted to Russian people's attitude to Putin's activities on the most important political post.
About 68 percent of respondents are certain that the president tries to keep his pre-election promises as much as he can. Up to 14 percent said that Putin was not keeping his promises at all, although 13 percent of respondents added that the president was successively fulfilling what he had promised before his election.
The people, who voted for the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, are sure that the president is going on the right political course. The poll also revealed that Russian people generally approved Putin's foreign policy and could notice positive changes in the life of the Russian society at this point (only ten percent said that the situation had changed for the worse). Positive estimations were expressed about Russia's policy in Chechnya: 42 percent of respondents said that the situation in the republic was improving, whereas 12 percent stated that it was worsening. Russian people pointed out negative changes in the social field, interethnic relations and in the field of personal security. The situation in rights, freedom and democratic development has not improved much either, 51 percent of respondents said. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said that the president should pay more attention to the anti-corruption struggle.
Russian people's opinion about Putin's stance as an independent politician has not changed during the five years of his presidency. The majority of Russians consider him an independent political figure. About 47 percent of respondents expressed this point of view in 2004. It is noteworthy that 27 percent of respondents specified that Putin was politically dependent in the beginning of his presidential term and became an independent politician later. Forty-two percent of respondents expressed the same point of view in 2005. Twenty-five percent of them said that Putin had acquired his independence, whereas 17 percent said that Putin has always been an independent person in politics.
Vladimir Putin's electoral rating makes up 54 percent, according to the results of the recent VCIOM's opinion poll conducted on March 19-20, 2005. Seventy-two percent of Russians approve Putin's activity, 20 percent disapprove, and 8 percent found the question difficult to answer.