Russian citizens still trust their president. The majority of Russians see Medvedev as a smart, decisive man, a man of character, with whom they associate their stable existence in the future.
On September 14, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev celebrated his 46th birthday. All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center tried to find out the attitude of the Russian people to Mr. Medvedev. As it turned out, the portrait of the president in the eyes of Russian citizens consists of presumably positive qualities.
Most of all, please value the president's intellect (56%), activity (39%), professionalism (36%), stability, (29%), determination (20%), honesty (22%), as well as simplicity and modesty (19%). Only one in every five respondents said that Medvedev was passive (4%), unprofessional (5%) and unstable (1%).
Thus, the majority of Russians believe that Medvedev is a vigorous and decisive man (30%), an experienced and far-sighted politician (16%), who guarantees stability in the country (29%) and who is ready for compromises between various political forces (13%).
When answering the question about which values and ideas Medvedev supports, many respondents said that the president supports the increase of the living standard of the Russian population (11%), the revival of Russia and its authority in the world (10%) and social politics (4%). Eleven percent of the polled said that Medvedev defends the interests of oligarchs and of his own. The rest recollected other initiatives of the president: the struggle against corruption, the introduction of innovations, the development of science, etc.
As for most significant achievements, the respondents named the social sphere (expanding the opportunities of maternity capital, healthcare and education reforms, raising pensions, taking care about veterans and pensioners). Others named foreign politics, including Russia's successful efforts during the conflict with Georgia, the defense of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Twenty-three percent of the polled said that Medvedev did not have any special achievements at all.
As for failures, the majority of Russian citizens believe that the sitting head of state does not have many of them.
Five percent of the polled said that Medvedev had not created the professional team, so he was unable to control the execution of his decisions. Four percent of the polled reproach Medvedev for the growing inflation rate. Alas, no leader in Russia's contemporary history has been able to avoid this phenomenon. Three percent of the polled believe that the president does not take enough anti-corruption efforts.
One may thus conclude that despite a number of problems, the majority of the Russian people highly evaluate the intellectual and professional potential of the incumbent president.
Valery Fyodorov, the director of the above-mentioned research center, said that the researchers presented open questions to respondents.
"There were no variants offered. The people were saying the things that they had on their minds. So what do they have? Current events obviously distract people from strategic topics. It is impossible to reform the Interior Ministry in one day, of course, not even in one year, and everyone is aware of that. The president said in the very beginning that it was a strategic goal which he would be dealing with gradually. If something important happens - a plane crashes, for instance - then the event pushes everything else into the background, especially such complex issues. Therefore, I would not say that the results of the poll are not satisfactory for the president. Quite on the contrary, I believe that the poll showed positive results.
"There is another factor, though, and it's about the way how journalists should work with information and how they deal with objective, honest approaches and biasness and wishful thinking.
"The Kommersant newspaper wrote that 47 percent of the polled Russians could not name any achievements of the sitting president. First off, 47 percent could not say anything at all. If people are asked an open question, the share of the undecided will be approximately the same. This is a peculiarity of this method. The people who know that - they simply take this factor into consideration during analysis, and they don't make a drama out of it. If we count the number of those people who spoke about victories and success, they will outnumber those who spoke about their absence.
"We are dealing with the classic usage of sociological information by mass media. They may withhold important facts, shift accents, and reformulate the facts to match the editorial policy of a certain publication rather than of a separate journalist."