MOSCOW, December 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russians rate the authoritarian presidents of Belarus and Kazakhstan as the most trustworthy leaders across the states of the former Soviet Union, a poll released Tuesday has revealed.
The leader of Russia was not included in the poll carried out by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center, or VTsIOM.
Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbayev and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko have long ruled their respective countries with iron fists and tolerate no opposition to their regimes.
Forty-one percent of respondents selected Lukashenko as their most trusted leader among non-Russian presidents in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Among the remaining ten heads of state only two scored higher than 5 percent – Nazarbayev with 33 percent and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych with 10 percent.
Russians also rated the two countries, which are part of the three-nation Customs Union trade bloc dominated by Moscow, as Russia’s most dependable partners.
All but two Commonwealth of Independent States members – Kyrgyzstan and Moldova – were deemed to be “Not Free” in the Freedom House index.
The leaders of both those nations, which Freedom House describes as "Partly Free," scored two percent apiece in VTsIOM’s trustworthiness survey.
VTsIOM questioned 1,600 people across Russia in mid-November. The margin of error was 3.4 percent.