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    80 PERCENT OF RUSSIANS READY TO VOTE FOR PUTIN

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    MOSCOW, February 19, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - According to the poll conducted by the VTsIOM-A independence sociological company, 80 percent of Russians are ready to vote for incumbent President Vladimir Putin at the presidential elections on March 14. 2004.

    Other candidates share 13 percent of votes.

    After the election campaign was launched, the rating of Communist and Agrarian candidate Nikolai Kharitonov has grown from two to five percent. The ratings of independent candidates Sergei Glazyev and Irina Khakamada are four and two percent correspondingly. They have not changed since the start of the election campaign, VTsIOM-A experts say.

    Sergei Mironov (the Russian Life Party) and Oleg Malyshkin (the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia) have one percent of votes. Ivan Rybkin, who is campaigning from London after his disappearance, has a zero rating.

    VTsIOM-A forecasts that 63 percent of Russians will participate in the presidential elections.

    All in all, 1,600 Russians were polled.

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