MOSCOW, March 8 (UPI) -- Russians have named President Vladimir Putin their best leader since the time of the czars, the Rosbalt news agency reported Monday.
An opinion poll conducted by the Romir Monitoring Survey said 37 percent of respondents named Putin as Russia's greatest leader since the two revolutions of 1917 that established the 74-year communist state.
Late Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, who ruled from 1924 to 1953 and under whose harsh repressive rule scores of millions of died, came in second with 19 percent. Late Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev, who ruled from 1964 to 1982, came in third with 11 percent. Under his rule, ordinary Russians experienced a considerable improvement in their standard of living.
Romir reported that Putin's supporters came mostly from young, highly-educated and affluent members of society. Stalin's support came mostly from those aged 60 or older.