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Ever fewer Russians see positive aspects of Yeltsin era — poll

January 30, 3:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Negative comments on Yeltsin’s role is noticeable among young people, for whom the first Russian president is "no more than a historical personality."
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© Andrei Babushkin; Alexander Chumichev/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. Over the past several years the share of Russians who tend to make negative comments on Boris Yeltsin’s presidency has grown, while those who believe that Russia’s first president did his utmost to steer the nation out of the crisis are getting fewer, as follows from an poll by the national public opinion studies center VTsIOM on Friday.

According to the survey, whereas in 2007 36% of Russians pointed to Yeltsin as the one responsible for the deep crisis in Russia in the 1990s, this year the share has grown to 50%.

"There are far less of those who think that Russia’s first president tried to help the country out of the crisis and did everything he could to this end (6% in contrast to 13% before), or tried to do that but made mistakes on the way (34% against 45% previously)," VTsIOM said.

The pollster found that Russians name the following negative aspects of Yeltsin’s rule: the Chechen war (63% in contrast to 70% in 2007), the financial crisis of 1998 (62%; the option was not proposed in 2007), mass unemployment (56% in contrast to 52% in 2007), production slump (55% against 48% nine years ago), etc.

Yeltsin and his team are most often appreciated for overcoming rationing and lines for goods (17%), revival of private property (17%), and democratic rights and freedoms (17%). Since 2007 the groups of such respondents have shrunk considerably (from 30%, 23% and 27% respectively).

"Yeltsin is an embodiment of the 1990s: a period when most people, according to VTsIOM see in gloomy colors. Time works against him. The share of positive comments is dwindling," VTsIOM’s director for communications, Aleksey Firsov, said.

Negative comments on Yeltsin’s role is noticeable among young people, for whom the first Russian president is "no more than a historical personality.".

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