Only 14 percent of respondents named Soviet President Gorbachev and 17 percent mentioned his successor, first president of the Russian Federation Yeltsin, when asked whose policies in the past 100 years made Russia develop in the proper direction. Their results are largely similar to a VTsIOM survey held in 2007.
A total of 61 percent of Russians described Vladimir Putin’s policies during his two presidential terms in 2000-2008 as “generally positive”, down six percentage points from 2007. About 54 percent of respondents were positive about incumbent Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Russia’s last Tsar Nicholas II received a positive assessment from 31 percent of respondents.
Leonid Brezhnev, who presided over the “stagnation period” with a ruling group characterized as a “gerontocracy,” was the most popular Soviet leader with the support of 39 percent of respondents.
Best-known Communist Leaders, 1917 October Revolution architect Vladimir Lenin and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, gained 28 percent each. Nikita Khrushchev, who steered Soviet Union through the Cold War’s peak, the Cuban Missile Crisis, received the support of 24 percent of respondents.
The survey, involving 1,600 respondents, was held on October 29-30, 2011 in 46 Russian regions. The margin of error is below 3.4 percent.