Russians expect anti-corruption measures of authorities to be effective – poll

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Interfax – MOSCOW. April 3, 2013) A recent poll indicates that Russians consider the fight against corruption one of the three issues Russian President Vladimir Putin should concentrate on.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said during the all-Russia poll held in March that the key task of the Russian president was overcoming the economic crisis and fostering the economy, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax.

Sociologists said that the fight against corruption and imposing order in the country were on the list of issues Putin should pay special attention to with 46% and 42% of respondents respectively. A total of 39% expect Putin to make decisions to restore social justice and to improve living standards of people at large, 28% to follow the law, 23% to reinforce the fight against crime, 23% to develop science, culture and education, straighten defense capacities of the country, etc.

The poll showed that 88% of Russians did not waive Putin’s responsibility for large-scale high-level corruption and financial schemes, which have recently emerged. Russians support new anti-corruption measures Putin has introduced, in particular, 58% endorse the decision to ban officials from having foreign bank accounts, securities, property abroad, etc. However, some consider this to be an attempt to distract people’s attention from more important events in the country (20%) or “to create another way to suppress undesirables” (15%).

However, 61% believe that Putin’s initiative to ban officials from having property, bank accounts and securities abroad was in Russia’s interests – to protect the country from the possible outside influence and to hinder the path to laundering corrupted money.

Sociologists said that 53% hoped that the recent anti-corruption measures would actually be effective, 37% were skeptical thinking that “(the anti-corruption measures) will be forgotten in several months and everyone will go back to things the same as before.” Sixty three percent support bloggers’ actions to find property officials are hiding.

Over a half of Russians, 51%, expect an objective and fair investigation of all recently emerged law violations committed by deputies and high-level officials, though they have concerns that “the system will not change.” While 37% are convinced that Russian authorities have no serious intentions to pursue such cases.