TIME TO GO HOME FROM CHECHNYA?

It appears that 44% of Russians think that now it is necessary to continue military operations in Chechnya while 47% are of opinion that it is time to start peace talks. 10% of those polled found it difficult to answer. Citing these results of a public opinion survey, RBC new agency tends to infer that it may testify to a turning point in the Russians’ attitude towards hostilities in Chechnya. But to what extent is the above survey correct? And is it not a well-paid PR ploy? To prove the population’s change of heart, the results are cited of the poll conducted in February when 73% of respondents spoke up for the military operation to continue. In the run-up of the presidential election, the figure made up 67%. In June, the number of those strongly supporting the war decreased to 55%. Now, it shrank to 44%. A similar trend is noted in the attitude towards peace talks. In February, 19% were in favour of the talks, in June-August, 39%, and, finally, in November, 49%. Speaking of the likely results of the “counter-terrorist operation,” 57% presupposed Chechnya would stay within Russia, 24%, would secede, and 20% found it difficult to answer.