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Russians See Rising Prices as Country’s Biggest Problem – Poll

Yury Kochetkov / EPA / TASS

Russians are most likely to see rising prices as the main issue facing the country, according to an independent survey from the Levada Center polling agency published Tuesday.

Several months of inflation have driven prices for basic commodities like sugar, sunflower oil and pasta, prompting President Vladimir Putin to call for emergency measures to cap prices. Shortly before the poll’s publication Tuesday, the Russian government announced tighter price controls on food and other products.

When asked to identify the country's main problems from a list, 58% of Russian respondents selected rising prices. That marks a decrease from 2018, when rising prices were named as a concern by three-quarters of Russians.

Forty percent selected poverty as one of the country's main problems, followed by 39% who pointed to corruption and graft.

Further down Levada’s list, 36% of respondents said they were most worried about unemployment and 26% about class divide.

While concerns for social and economic issues dropped by as much as double digits in recent years, worries over corruption saw a steady rise from 24% six years ago to 39% this year.

Respondents were able to choose more than one response.

In 2018, when a higher share of Levada's respondents expressed concern over rising prices, a majority of respondents said they held Putin responsible for the rising cost of living.

Levada conducted the survey among 1,601 Russians from 50 regions between Feb. 18-24.

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