The Russians most pessimistic about the prospects for real peace in Chechnya are those with the highest incomes and educations–and also, strikingly, soldiers. Novye izvestia reported on February 3 the results of a poll conducted by ROMIR Monitoring in late January. Of the 1,630 Russians surveyed, some 53 percent said that they expected peace to return only in the distant future. Another 18 percent saw peace returning within six to ten years, and 14 percent within three to five years. Only 7 percent believed that Chechnya would be at peace just one or two years from now.
Consistently, the Russians polled expressed overwhelming disagreement with their own government’s policies. Only 31 percent viewed positively or somewhat positively the actions of the federal government in Chechnya over the last decade, while 63 percent took a negative or somewhat negative view.