Оpinion poll: 54% of respondents feel Ramzan Kadyrov is in control of Chechnya

СТ:Results of a survey carried out in Grozny and Shali by the Caucasus Times.

The Caucasus Times carried out a survey between February 9 and 15 in the Chechen towns of Grozny and Shali to get people’s views on the changes that have taken place during the past year. Questions were asked about who controls the current political situation in the republic, how has the security as well as social and economic situation changed, and what is their reaction to Ramzan Kadyrov’s recent attempts at allowing polygamy. In total, 200 people were polled. The margin of error does not exceed 7%.

The positive response of 54% of the people as to who controls the political situation in the republic clearly shows that the acting Moscow-backed Chechen Premier Ramzan Kadyrov far outstrips the other political players in Chechnya. 22% thought it was the federal forces; 17% believed it to be Alu Alkhanov, the current Moscow-backed president; and only 1% thought it was Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev. Sergei Abramov, the Moscow-backed Prime Minister, received no votes at all, and 6% did not answer.

The question of Kadyrov’s attempts to permit polygamy provided the most vocal and contradictory replies, revealing a significant polarization of views. So while 34% approved the idea, 20% only somewhat did. Yet 27% strongly disapproved and 11% were mildly disapproving. Overall, 54% were pro and 38% were against.

As for the security situation, 11% saw it as having improved while 15% thought it had only improved slightly. 7% felt it had deteriorated and 12% thought it had only slightly deteriorated. Thus, in general, altogether, 26% saw an improvement while 19% did not. However, a substantial 45% believe that nothing had changed at all. A significant one-out-of-ten did not answer.

The question of socio-economic change evoked more positive views as 36% regarded the situation as being better, while 29% saw it as only slightly better. Nevertheless, 5% thought it had worsened and 9% thought it had only gotten slightly worse. Thus, altogether, 65% were positive and 14% were negative; 12% saw no change and 9% did not answer.

But responses as to whether their personal economic situation had improved were less optimistic. A majority reported no change (45%); 8% reported an improvement; and 10% felt there was slight improvement. However, 20% felt their situation had greatly worsened while 14% thought it had only worsened a little. Thus, altogether, 34% saw a worsening and 18% saw some improvement. 3% did not answer.

СТ:Note: This survey was conducted by the Caucasus Times within the framework of a 12-month study project called “Public Opinion in North Caucasus” that is being done throughout the North-Caucasian republics and sponsored by the American foundation NED. Responses to the survey are given in percentages.

Islam Tekushev, Caucasus Times, Prague

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