Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 66

Most Russians and residents of other CIS countries have a negative attitude toward the reforms that have taken place since 1991, according to the European Union’s Eurobarometer poll. The poll questioned 21,000 persons in 20 countries in November 1996. Fifty-nine percent of Russians expressed their disapproval of the current reform course and only 24 percent approved. Similar results were found in the other CIS countries surveyed (Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakstan, and Armenia). In contrast, in the 14 Central and East European states surveyed, 56 percent of persons approved and only 27 percent disapproved of the reforms since 1989. (Finansovye izvestiya, April 1)

With regard to their personal circumstances, 45 percent of Russians said their incomes had fallen since 1991, and only 18 percent saw them rise. Thirty-four percent expect a further worsening in the economic situation in 1997, 12 percent expect improvement, and 31 percent see no change. Most Central and East Europeans also reported a fall in income, but the majority still gave a positive evaluation to the reforms. The Russian pessimism extended to politics as well as economics: eight out of ten Russians were dissatisfied with the state of democracy and human rights in their country. As for international relations, 27 percent of Russians saw their future with the CIS and 27 percent with U.S., while among CIS respondents 52 percent saw their future with Russia.

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