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Concern Over Corruption Highest Since 1999, Poll Says

Dissatisfaction with corrupt officials has featured prominently at recent opposition protests.

The percentage of Russians dissatisfied with corrupt authorities has reached its highest level in 13 years, a poll released Thursday showed.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents told Levada Center pollsters that they were outraged by authorities' practice of thinking of themselves and their pockets before their official duties, Interfax reported.

Twenty-two percent gave the same answer during a similar survey last year, with 23 percent holding similar views in 1999.

The Levada Center survey also found that the population remains unconvinced that the state can control rising prices.

Forty-five percent of Russians doubt the government's ability to deal with falling incomes and the increased cost of living, according to the poll, an 8 percent drop over the 2010 results.

But this represented the most widespread criticism of the government by participants in the survey, which was conducted in 43 Russian regions and had 1,600 respondents.

Among other recriminations of the state highlighted in the survey, 28 percent of those polled cited officials' disregard for citizens' welfare, 25 percent noted the government's inability to solve economic problems, and 17 percent criticized authorities' working in the interests of big business.

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