ORT, Vremya, December 4, 1999, 21:00

The increase in the prime minister’s approval rating is considered to be a long-term political trend. The majority of regional leaders and governors are betting on Vladimir Putin.


ORT, Vremya, December 4, 1999, 21:00

This week the prime minister’s approval rating has decreased by 2%. At the same time, the ratings of his political opponents are slowly rising. If the presidential elections had been held this weekend, Vladimir Putin would have won (43% of respondents would support him). This is 2% less than a week ago. The leader of the Communists was supported by 16% of respondents.

Yevgeny Primakov would be supported by 9% of Russians. The number of supporters of Yabloko and Grigory Yavlinsky has increased by 2%, and 6% of Russians would now support Yavlinsky in the presidential elections.


ORT, Vremya, December 4, 1999, 21:00

The distribution of political forces has changed significantly this week. The Unity movement (also known as “Bear”) has moved into second place. If the parliamentary elections had been held this weekend, the Communists would have won (21% of respondents supported them). Second place would have gone to Unity. The is the main sensation of the last few days. In the space of a week, the number of supporters of this movement has doubled. Unity is now supported by 14% of Russians (last week this figure was 8%). The Fatherland-All Russia bloc is losing its supporters; only 10% of respondents supported it this week. Yabloko has collected 8%.

What is the cause of the success of Unity? Why is the popularity of the bloc supported by Prime Minster Vladimir Putin increasing? Sergei Semenov, “Vremya” observer, tried to answer these questions.

Sergei Semenov: “The three ‘bears’ – Sergei Shoigu, Alexander Karelin, and Alexander Gurov – are political beginners, but currently even experienced politicians envy them. A week ago the movement brought up the rear of the list of movements and parties which might overcome the 5% barrier in the parliamentary elections. Now Unity is second only to the CPRF. The success of Unity is connected with the success of Vladimir Putin. He supported the leaders of Unity, who do not hide their pro-government position.”

Alexander Gurov, leader of Unity: “We created this bloc in order to support Vladimir Putin.”

Unity is supported by many influential governors, including its political rivals. Dmitry Ayatskov, third leader of Our Home is Russia, has publicly praised the leader of Unity.

Dmitry Ayatskov, Saratov Governor: “Sergei Shoigu has saved thousands of people and a huge amount of property. I want to thank him for that. He is a professional, and people see it and appreciate it.”

Aman Tuleev, Kemerovo Governor: “People do not know Unity, but they know Sergei Shoigu. They know that he is an expert minister, he works for the welfare of Russia. That is why I’ll do my best to support him – Russia needs this man.”

Sergei Shoigu, leader of Unity: “Everyone on the political stage owes their position to the president. There are governors whom he has appointed and supported. Then they started to accuse him of all possible sins. There are people whom he invited into the government, and who did not cope with their tasks. But he made them known in Russia.”