Most Russians (63%) are aware that a referendum is to be held on the constitution of the Chechen Republic in March 2003. According to a survey carried out by the Public Opinion fund on January 18, almost half of the respondents (46%) said that they are in favour of such a referendum. About 16% said they did not support the idea of a referendum.
12% of those in favour said that the referendum would be 'a democratic way of solving the problems'. 8% of Russians believe that the referendum will help to bring order in the republic and 6% believe that it will bring peace. 1% of respondents said that the question of Chechnya's independence would be answered in the referendum.
Of those who do not support the referendum, 5% said that it would be pointless. 4% are not sure that the results of the referendum will be a true reflection of Chechen opinion and 2% are concerned that the referendum will cost too much money. Another 2% believe that citizens of the Russian Federation should have a joint referendum and a further 2% maintain that Chechnya must be kept under strict control.
When assessing the possible outcome of the referendum in Chechnya a third of the respondents said they were hoping it would improve the situation although 3% believe the situation will only get worse and 42% believe that it will have no effect whatsoever.
1500 people took part in this national survey.