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Page last updated at 03:06 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 04:06 UK

Russians worried by global crisis

A homeless Russian man sits under a billboard in Moscow on 7 April, 2009
The global financial crisis has left many Russians homeless

A third of Russians polled by the BBC are concerned by falling living standards and financial problems due to the global economic crisis.

Some 30% of those polled said a falling standard of living was the single biggest issue facing the country.

A significant number also mentioned inflation and high prices.

The BBC Russian service poll found that many more Russians believe PM Vladimir Putin holds real power in the country, rather than President Dmitry Medvedev.

Almost twice as many people said Mr Putin was in charge compared to those who thought Mr Medvedev was in control.

And almost 60% of those polled also said they believed Mr Putin, who has already served two terms as president, would return to the post after the next election, due in 2012.

According to the latest official figures almost two million Russians lost their jobs between January and the end of March.

It has been reported that this means unemployment hit almost 12% in March, the worst figure for many years.

This combination of rising unemployment and rising prices is what some analysts believe could lead to unrest unless the situation improves in the near future, says the BBC's Richard Galpin in Moscow.

Despite the increasing nervousness about the economic crisis, half of those who responded to the BBC opinion poll agreed that the government was doing all it could to tackle the problem.



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