Monitor of public opinion

Almaty Population Sympathize with Putin

Bakhytzhamal BEKTURGANOVA, President of ASaPAlmaty

1-17 of January, 2000

687 persons were questioned

Among �veterans� of the Russian political scene the newcomer Putin does not seem a veteran. With unremarkable appearance, he occurred to be an outstanding strategist who managed to pass the distance from the FSB chief to the acting President of the country for a short period of time. While politologists were discussing the future of the Russian policy, predicting the �electric arc� that was supposed to unite both poles � social resentment of common people with a new principle of the national leader � this leader came fast.

V. Putin meets Russian people�s nostalgia combining the apology of the firm master and panegyrics to a �strong hand�. When the Yeltsin�s successor gained numerous supporters from the Russian electorate, many analysts spoke of Putin�s phenomena. The essence of this phenomena may be expressed with the only phrase: Putin �is simple as the truth, but this simplicity is not simple.�

How can we explain the growing popularity of Putin among Russian people?

First, many Russians got used to long absence of President Yeltsin in the public policy. Meanwhile, the state mechanism continued to function despite his health and capability. Russian people have voluntarily or not adjusted to the thought that the country may follow the Yeltsin�s reforms without him.

That is why when Yeltsin transferred his power to Putin, this did not hurt the Russian society. Moreover, Putin was perceived as the successor and inheritor of the Yeltsin�s reforms.

Second, Putin decisively began to manage the country, not waiting for the Presidential election to legalize his authority. Thus, in fact he did not give the society to think, as he supported his activity with the financial-economic, political-psychological steps, which minimize people�s capacity to separate from decisions taken by Putin.

Third, during Yeltsin ruling, neither he nor his team could offer the society any attractive and at the same time pragmatic national idea, which could meet people�s demand for security and stability. The Putin�s strategic idea is patriotism combined with the order. This idea was embodied in the war against Chechen bands.

Chechnya is not a constant threat to security of only Russia, but also of its closest neighbors in the geopolitical region. Chechnya does not produce anything for a long time, except terrorism, Vakhabism, selling narcotics, weapons and blackmailing.

The Chechen �inflammable mixture� may explode any minute both inside Russia, and in any place in the world. However, the risk of the Putin�s �Chechen campaign� should not be underestimated. If it is of a long character, and the Russian army�s losses exceed the official forecast and individual�s expectations, the destiny of Putin may become very problematic.

Analysis of the polling results

The Presidential election in Russia is to be held in almost two months. For the time being Putin takes the promising place in the list of the Russian politicians.

The Almaty population, as well as Russians, prefer the young and active successor of Yeltsin.

Ratings of sympathy of the present Russian politicians (in %)

Options of the answers Total Men Women
1. V. Putin 66.0 65.1 66.7
2. Ye. Primakov 6.3 13.6 1.0
3. G. Zyuganov 4.3 4.1 4.5
4. A. Tuleev 3.7 4.4 3.3
5. G. Yavlinsky 3.3 2.7 3.8
6. V. Zhirinovsky 1.9 1.7 2.0
7. None of the above-mentioned   3.2 2.0 4.0
8. It�s difficult to answer 11.2 6.4 14.8

For the previous week from the first day of the poll, Putin�s rating in the southern capital fell 1.3 times. But Primakov�s rating raised 2.5 times. Most men of Almaty sympathize with this politician (every seventh respondent).

However, the results of the last poll do not indicate the fall of Putin�s influence in Russia. Most probably, he will manage to win over his most serious opponents � Ye. Primakov (if he joins the prelection race) and the communist Zyuganov. According prognoses of the polled Almaty people, most Russian voters will vote for Putin:

% in the column

   Total Men Women
1. V. Putin 75.8 79.7 73.0
2. G. Zyuganov 5.2 4.7 5.6
3. Ye. Primakov 3.1 7.1 0.0
4. A. Tuleev 0.9 0.0 1.5
5. G. Yavlinsky 0.0 0.0 0.0
6. V. Zhirinovsky 0.0 0.0 0.0
7. None of the above-mentioned 3.1 3.7 2.6
8. It�s difficult to answer 11.9 4.7 17.3

According to respondents, Russian people will stake on Putin at the Presidential election.

What will be further relations between Kazakhstan and Russian, if V. Putin becomes the Russian President? (% in the column)

Options of the answers Total Men Women
Favorable: strategic partnership will widen and deepen 38.6 36.9 39.8
Inert (compromise): relations will be supported at the official level, but the parties will not be interested in a closer cooperation 17.5 20.3 15.3
Unfavorable (conflict): toughening economic sanctions by Russia against Kazakhstan due to the debt liabilities 4.2 6.1 2.8
Expansionist: the Russia�s political and economical supervision over Kazakhstan 9.6 12.2 7.7
It�s difficult to answer 30.1 24.4 34.4

Every third polled Almaty citizen connects the favorable prognosis regarding relations between Kazakhstan and Russia with Putin�s victory. We may ignore geopolitical laws of the regional life for a long, but they will still exist. The force of attraction between Russian and Kazakhstan is so, that they are doomed to the strategic partnership. We cannot ignore also that the numerous Russian Diaspora, which is interested in free contacts with Russia, and the common for Russia and Kazakhstan informational, socio-cultural and economic communicational structure, lives in Kazakhstan.

At the same time every sixth polled citizen forecasts an inert development of the Kazakhstani-Russian relations, when contacts will be save at the intergovernmental, interstate agreements and the parties will be weakly interested in closer cooperation. This is the way of mutual compromises and concessions, ultimatums and future deals on key problems, when concluded agreements will be considered either as a revenge for previous concessions or as a temporary compromise. We think that the planned one-day meeting between K. Tokaev and V. Putin will result in this level of relations namely.

At present the influence radius of the Russian economy and policy on Kazakhstan has significantly reduced. That is why to demand more from the Kazakhstani diplomacy is in vain. This policy is able to minimize negative consequences caused by the abrupt change of ratio of the ruling Russian forces, and to submit foreign political decisions to the economic raising of the country.

Every third respondent could not answer to the question. Many Almaty people are indifferent to the foreign policy, as they were left by the state to survive themselves.

Do you want Kazakhstan to be included into the Russian Federation?

(% in the column)

   Total Kazakhs Russians Other European nationality   Other Asian nationality
Yes 17.2 3.9 34.7 11.4 0.0
No 44.0 83.7 9.8 0.0 50.7
It�s difficult to answer 38.9 12.4 55.6 88.6 49.3

As any effort of people to change anything in their life is doomed, this imparts the social disconnection with catastrophic growth in Kazakhstan. The last line of the table proves this. Among polled people there were mainly Kazakhs who wish to live in independent Kazakhstan. For polled Russians and representatives of other European nationality Kazakhstan is not attractive as the native house should be. Every third Russian respondent and every ninth representative of other European nationality would like Kazakhstan to be included into Russia again.

Taking into consideration the life in Russia and Kazakhstan, efforts of these states to enter the European house missing each other will result in nothing, except waste of time and stagnated development. The strategic partnership between Russia and Kazakhstan will have no alternative soon.

Monitor of public opinion

MIG case in the light of public opinion

Bakhytzhamal BEKTURGANOVA, President of ASaP

Almaty, Jan 10-17

687 persons were questioned


The closed trial on the MIG case proves the two things:

First, the court is not interested in revealing surnames if people who are really guilty in the illegal deal. The society knows the fact that long ago before the trial two high-rank functionaries whose departments were obviously concerned in the deal, voluntarily sent in their resignation. They are the former KNB chairman N. Abykaev and the former deputy of the Defence Minister M. Altynbaev. The spiciest thing in this story is that the latter is an eyewitness in the case, while his subordinate the general Yertaev is the accused. Only two surnames of people concerned in the deal � the commander of the General Headquarter B. Yertaev and the businessman A. Petrenko are mentioned.

Second, it is difficult to ignore the ambitious purposes of the participants of the deal, who wants more than just to meet the national interest. According military experts, the value of only one computer device, which every sold MIG had, was US$ 1 million. They sold 40 MIGs. What was the value of the deal? Officially, it was US$ 8 million. If the national treasury did not gain this money, in whose pockets did they settle down?

Results of the poll

How do you treat the trial against A. Petrenko and B. Yertaev?

(% in the column)

Options of the answers Total Men Women
Just punishment for people guilty in the crime 0.9 0.0 1.5
Formal procedure to calm down the international community 29.3 35.1 24.7
The trial is supposed to conceal people who are really guilty 37.3 47.7 29.1
It�s difficult to answer 32.6 17.2 44.6

Do you think that they really sold MIGs to North Korea?

% in the column A. Petrenko B. Yertaev
Yes 3.9 4
No 27.0 25.1
He is a secondary figure in the deal 69.1 70.9

Leaders of what structures are responsible for the sale of MIGs to North Korea? (% in the column)

Options of the answers Total Men Women
Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan 21.8 26.4 18.1
Prime Minister of Kazakhstan 11.6 15.8 8.3
KNB 11.3 13.0 10.0
Ministry of Foreign Affairs 10.6 11.0 10.4
Customs Committee of Kazakhstan 7.8 6.7 8.7
State Secretary of Kazakhstan 4.3 2.6 5.7
Others 5.0 5.9 4.2
It�s difficult to answer 27.5 18.7 34.6

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