Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 211

. Aleksandr Lebed still tops the polls as the politician most trusted by Russian citizens, despite the fact that his popularity has fallen since he struck up his much publicized alliance with former presidential bodyguard Aleksandr Korzhakov. At the beginning of September, just after Lebed signed the Chechen ceasefire agreements, 62 percent of Russians identified the then Security Council secretary as the politician they trusted most. In a poll carried out at the end of October, Lebed’s rating had fallen to 44 percent. Nonetheless, he was still ahead of the competition. Lebed’s closest rival in October was Gennady Zyuganov, trusted by 29 percent, followed by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin with 21 percent, President Boris Yeltsin with 17 percent, newly appointed Security Council Secretary Ivan Rybkin with 11 percent, and Presidential Chief of Staff Anatoly Chubais with 8 percent. Lebed also scored the lowest levels of distrust: in September, 13 percent of Russians said they distrusted him. And while in October this figure had climbed to 24 percent, Lebed remained ahead of the competition. In October, 63 percent said they distrusted Chubais, followed by 60 percent for Yeltsin, 47 percent for Zyuganov, 46 percent for Chernomyrdin, and 41 percent for Rybkin. (Argumenty i fakty, Itar-Tass, November 4)

Mixed Reaction to Yeltsin’s Olive Branch.