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67% of the Russians see no stability left in their country
The recent polls carried out by the Public Opinion Fund show that 67 percent of the Russians see no stability left in their country. 39 percent say things are going awry and 57 percent are concerned over the domestic developments. The newspaper Izvestia has tried to understand what is happening to Russian society. According to the Public Opinion Fund, in 2001 to 2002 Russians spoke of a change for the better; in 2003 the mood changed to less optimistic and now the share of those noticing a change for the better is at the 2003 level. "We observe a decline in the people's assessment of the domestic set-up", said Dmitri Oreshkin, head of the Merkator research group. Boris Makarenko, first deputy general director of the Political Technologies Centre, believes that "the moral shock from the set of acts of terrorism, especially in Beslan, is so traumatic to public conscience that it is possibly unconsciously lowering expectation". In turn, Levada-Centre sociologist Alexander Golov said that he has finished study of a change in the Russians' confidence in the future. It turns out that, despite terrorism and the declared reforms with unpredictable consequences, the number of uncertain citizens has increased by only three percent. In the opinion of experts, the recent reforms - above all regarding the welfare system and the mechanism of running the affairs of state -- have gone a long way to destroy the feeling of stability. Rather not the reforms themselves but their process. "Putin has over five years embodied hope. Now, it turns out that he is not all-powerful and now will have to answer for everything. It is unfair. The worst thing is that popular ingratitude is as strong as love", Oreshkin thinks. In the opinion of Boris Makarenko, things are not bad. "If the authorities proceed from the people's anxieties and disillusionment and reach success, the feeling of stability may return", he believes.
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