MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Two thirds of Russians say that some of the country's famous citizens can be considered as moral authorities, and 36 percent of them believe President Vladimir Putin is taking the lead , a poll by the Public Opinion Fund reported Wednesday.
Around 60 percent of respondents believed that there were people who inspire respect among Russian cultural figures, scientists, politicians and sportsmen. 36 percent of respondents acknowleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin is such an authority, 6 percent chose Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as a moral example, and five percent chose Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, received four percent in the poll, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and film producer Nikita Mikhalkov got three percent each, and Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Russian Communist Party, received two percent of the votes.
One percent of respondents considered famous Russians such as Patriarch Kirill, Chairman of the Central Election Commission, Vladimir Churov, sportsman Fyodor Emelianenko, president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation Vladislav Tretiak, former Prime Minister Evgeny Primakov, Presidential Administration Chief Sergei Ivanov, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and journalists Vladimir Solovyov and Vladimir Pozner to be moral authorities.
The poll also showed that there are more Russians who believe that the number of moral authorities has declined since Soviet times (40 percent) than those who think that it has increased (30 percent) or remained the same (11 percent).
In general, the majority of respondents (56 percent) see moral authorities in their immediate surrounding – primarily, among friends and family members. Of particular interest 35 percent are sure that having somebody who inspires respect makes life easier.