More and more Russians are unhappy about environmental situation in Russia – VTsIOM

File Photo of Smokestacking Spewing Cloud of Discharge

(Interfax – VILLAGE OF LISTVYANKA, Irkutsk region, June 19, 2013) The number of people who criticize the environmental situation in their localities increased in the past eight years, Konstantin Abramov, deputy general director of the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), said.

During a meeting between Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and representatives of the export community on environmental issues, Abramov said, citing information possessed by VTsIOM, that 56% of Russians now believe that the environmental situation in Russia is currently bad and 9% believe it is close to being catastrophic.

At the same time, the expert said environmental issues are not among the three top issues that concern Russia (these three top issues are housing and utilities problems, inflation, and alcoholism).

At the same time, he said 84% of the respondents surveyed by VTsIOM said they would like to get information on the environmental situation in the country.

According to VTsIOM, among the main factors that negatively impact the environment respondents mentioned all types of transport and industrial enterprises.

Some 78% of the respondents said they have not heard anything of environmental protection programs and only 4% of the respondents said they have heard of environmental organizations, but do not know what it is precisely that they do.

Fifty-six percent of the respondents consider the measures taken in the sphere of environmental protection to be insufficient and 36% believe nothing is being done in this sphere.

According to in formation possessed by VTsIOM, the number of people who believe the federal authorities should be responsible for the environmental situation in specific populated areas more than doubled in the past few years.

Medvedev expressed concerns about this tendency. “It’s a bad change that an overwhelming majority of people believe that Moscow should be responsible for the environment in their cities,” he said.

At the same time, Medvedev said he does not see anything bad in the fact that the number of Russians who are negative about the environmental situation in the country has increased. “This also means that these people have started attaching much importance to these issues. Society is becoming more demanding,” he said.