First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov has overtaken presidential hopeful Aleksandr Lebed and is now Russia’s most popular politician, while President Boris Yeltsin lags far behind. Nemtsov won 18.8 percent of the vote in a poll of 2,406 Russian citizens conducted between March 14 and April 2 by the All-Russian Public Opinion Center (VCIOM). Lebed came a close second with 18.6 percent, followed by Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov (15 percent); Grigory Yavlinsky (14 percent); Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov (10 percent); and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin (9 percent). Yeltsin trailed them all with 7 percent. This puts Yeltsin’s popularity back at about the same level at which it rested early last year, before his reelection campaign got underway. The sting in the tail is that 30 percent of respondents now say that they do not trust any of Russia’s politicians, up from 18 percent one year ago. (Interfax, April 9)
…Tackles Electricity Giant.