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Many Russians Believe Lawmakers Fulfill Kremlin's Wishes, Survey Shows

Fewer Russians approve of the work of the State Duma and many believe that lawmakers are dependent on the Kremlin, a survey released Thursday showed.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents surveyed by the Levada Center said that lawmakers are completely dependent on the Kremlin and do whatever the executive branch requests, while 30 percent said that deputies listen to the Kremlin but also maintain their own interests and views.

Only 17 percent said lawmakers act independently.

Only 8 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the deputies' work, and almost half of those surveyed — 47 percent — said there is no real opposition within the Duma.

Twenty-seven percent said lawmakers do not pass vital or urgently needed laws, while 22 percent said they do bad or little work. Another 19 percent said they pass ineffective and harmful laws.

Alexei Grazhdankin, deputy director of the Levada Center, noted that while citizens do not see lawmakers' dependence on the Kremlin as a grave sin, they expressed annoyance that many lawmakers talk a great deal but in fact do very little, Vedomosti reported.

Overall fewer people appear happy with the work of the lower house of parliament: 36 percent of respondents compared to 45 percent in May 2012.

The survey also revealed widespread dissatisfaction with the practice of voting in absentia at Duma sessions. Sixty percent of respondents said it is inadmissible for lawmakers to vote on matters in absentia and that deputies who do so should be deprived of their seat.

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