Ex-Soviet Republics Unfriendly, Russians Complain

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russians are unhappy with a hostile policy pursued by most former Soviet republics, showed an opinion poll carried out by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center on July 16-17. The survey encompassed 1,600 people in 153 locations across Russia.

Alexander Lukashenko - Best Known by Russians

CIS leaders best known to Russians were Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko and Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko: they were correctly identified by 85 and 76 percent of respondents, respectively. The least known were presidents of Moldova, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (19, 16 and 14 percent).

Leaders of most former Soviet republics are pursuing an unfriendly policy towards Russia, most Russians think. Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko and Georgian head of state Mikhail Saakashvili were seen as the most active anti-Russian campaigners, with 55 and 53 percent of respondents describing their policy towards Russia as hostile.

Moldovan leader is next in this line, with 38 percent seeing him an anti-Russian leader and 11 percent – as pro-Russian. Turkmen and Tajik leaders were seen as anti-Russian by 24 and 25 percent, and as pro-Russian – by 19 and 20 percent, respectively. The only exceptions were Belarus and Kazakh leaders, who were seen as pro-Russian by 52 percent and 50 percent of respondents, and as anti-Russian – by 22 percent and 15 percent.

Fifteen percent think Russian authorities have something to learn from Lukashenko, and eight percent said Russian officials could learn something from the Kazakh head of state.

Source: Gateway to Russia