Poll finds Putin personality goes over well

A majority of Russians (85%) like Vladimir Putin as a person, a survey by Public Opinion has found. In the survey, conducted on April 3 and involving a representative national sample of 1,500 Russians, only 4% of respondents indicated dislike of the president. Fourteen percent of this group was made up of persons who voted in the most recent parliamentary elections for the Communist Party. In addition, the poll found that 53% of those surveyed believe that Putin has changed during his presidency: 43% feel the change is for the better, and 4% said he had changed for the worse.

Respondents were most likely to name as the president's strong points decisiveness, ability to pursue goals, toughness, calm in the face of provocation, self-confidence (23%). Seventeen percent of those surveyed described themselves as impressed by the president's behavior in public, his way of speaking and his way of dealing with people; 15% of respondents think Putin's strong point is that he 'is a person who gets things done,' that 'he knows how to work.' His intelligence, erudition and evident education were endorsed by 12%. Another 8% singled out his appearance and 'youthfulness.' For 7% of respondents, Putin's strong points are that he does not drink or smoke, while another 7% opted for his moral qualities-honorableness, fairness, decency. Finally, 2% of respondents found it important that Putin is 'a good family person,' and 1% said it was important that he has 'experience of KGB work.'

Among Putin failings, respondents tended to speak chiefly about dissatisfaction with his work (16%) rather than about personal qualities (12%). Thus, the head of state was criticized for not caring about people, for not being effective in the fight against criminals, corruption and the oligarchs, for paying too little attention to the nation's internal problems, for not being sufficiently independent in his decision-making, for not fulfilling promises. As for personal qualities, respondents were critical of 'softness' and 'being too careful,' and some were critical of him as a public speaker and for 'loving to pose for the public' or for not having a 'presidential look,' being too young or too short.

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