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Majority of Russians endorse president, PM despite crisis - poll

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An opinion poll said that the majority of Russians are in favor of the activities of the country's president, prime minister and government despite growing unemployment and a fall in the value of the ruble.
MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) - An opinion poll said that the majority of Russians are in favor of the activities of the country's president, prime minister and government despite growing unemployment and a fall in the value of the ruble.

Russia's unemployment rate has grown by 20% since early October, while the value of the ruble has seen its sharpest decline against the dollar since the 1998 financial crisis.

The Levada Center, an independent pollster, said on its website on Thursday that the number of people, who endorse Dmitry Medvedev's activity as president has risen from 70% in May 2008 to 75% in January 2009.

Approval for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has grown by three percentage points since May 2008, to 83%, while support for his cabinet fell by three percentage points, to 58%.

However, the number of people who believe that the country is heading in the right direction has fallen by 16 percentage points since May 2008, to 43%.

The poll was carried out on January 16-19 across 128 towns and cities in 46 Russian regions among a sample of 1,600 respondents.

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