Kabardino-Balkaria, 24 января, Caucasus Times – On 10-17 January 2007 Caucasus Times conducted public opinion poll of Balkarian population in the villages of Khasanya, Belaya Rechka, Bezebgi and Yanykoi around the republican capital Nalchik. In total, 200 respondents of different sexes, ages and occupation have been polled. Main goal of this research project was to find out the attitudes of Balkarians towards the policy of the current leaders of Kabardino-Balkaria, particularly related to their treatment of Balkarian interests, as well as towards current situation in this North Caucasus republic.
Responses to a question on whether the republican leadership takes Balkarian interests into account in its current policy demonstrated high level of dissatisfaction of Balkarian population by this particular aspect of the republican authorities’ activities. Thus, 60% of those polled declared that republican leadership “don’t not take into account” interests of Balkarian population; 10% felt that leadership “rather don’t not take into account” and just 15% – “take into account” and 6% “rather take into account”. Overall number of those who assessed negatively current Kabardino-Balkarian leaders’ treatment of Balkarian interests is 70%, while number of those respondents who tend to positively evaluate this aspect of republican leadership’s policy is just 21%. At the same time, 9% of respondents reported difficulties in answering this question.
Overwhelming majority of respondents proved to be unanimous in answering question on which problems are the most burning in present Kabardino-Balkaria. 89% of those polled consider social and economic problems to be the most burning issues under present conditions. In the meantime, 24% of respondents indicated that security-related problems are the most important while 22% consider interethnic relations, particularly relations between Kabardinians and Balkarians, to be the most burning problem. 11% of those polled indicate other problems as the most important including problem of land (7%) and absence of the law on parity (4%) keeping in mind the necessity of equal representation of Kabardinians and Balkarians in the republican state structures. Interconfessional relations as the most burning issue were mentioned by only 2%.
Respondents’ assessment of the republican law on municipalities was mostly critical and negative. 38% were critical in judging this law while 30% stated that they are “rather critical” towards this law. Only 6% were positive about the law and 14% – “rather positive”. 12% found it difficult to answer this question, which could be partially explained by the fact that large part of the population are insufficiently informed about the essence of the law in question.
Responses to a question on the readiness of the population to take part in protest meetings and picketing to defend their interests revealed high level of dissatisfaction of the Balkarian population by current conditions in Kabardino-Balkaria. Thus, 58% of respondents gave positive answer to this question and 9% – “rather positive” confirming their readiness to resort to protest actions. In total, 67% of those polled Balkarians accept their participation in possible actions of protest. 27% gave negative response and 5% – “rather negative” response to this question. Only 1% could not answer this question.
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Overwhelming majority of respondents (94%) reported major Russian federal television channels (ORT, RTR and NTV) as their major source of news and information. 11% indicated local TV station as their main source of news and information.
Local printed media including “Gazeta Yuga” (31%), “Balkaria” (22%) and Balkarian-language newspaper “Zaman” (12%) turned out to be the second most important sources of the information for the respondents.
8% reported Internet as their main source of information. Among them, 6% use various sites about the situation in the Caucasus, 1% – official site of Kabardino-Balkarian president and 1% – KBP site.
Radio is the main information source for only 5% of respondents. Among them, 3% tune in to Russkoe Radio – Nalchik and 2% – to Radio Mayak. Relatives and friends are considered the most important source of news and information by 2% of the respondents.