Gorbachev named least popular Russia leader

Feb. 2, 2012 at 1:55 PM
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MOSCOW, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was ranked the most unpopular Russian leader of the past century, a state-run pollster said.

A survey by Russia's state-run VTsIOM polling groupr found just 14 percent of respondents named Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's last head of state, when asked whose policies in the past 100 years resulted in Russia developing in the proper direction, RIA Novosti reported.

Boris Yeltsin, the first president of the Russia Federation, was named by 17 percent of respondents in the survey.

The results are similar to those of a 2007 VTsIOM survey, RIA Novosti said.

Vladimir Putin, now prime minister, received a positive rating for his two presidential terms, 2000-2008, from 61 percent of respondents, while current President Dmitry Medvedev got a positive rating from 54 percent.

Among Communist leaders, Vladimir Lenin and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin each received a positive rating from 28 percent of respondents, compared with 24 percent for Nikita Khrushchev.

Russia's last czar, Nicholas II, got a positive rating from 31 percent of respondents.

The survey of 1,600 people was conducted Oct. 29-30 in 46 Russian regions and has a margin of error of less than 3.4 percent.

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