The arrest of the former economy minister, Alexey Ulyukaev, for allegedly taking a $2mn bribe has cast a shadow of widespread corruption on the government and to a lesser extent on President Vladimir Putin himself, according to independent pollster the Levada Center.
According to a recent poll, the majority of Russians (78%) have heard of Ulyukaev’s arrest and a third (30%) are closely monitoring the situation.
Almost half of respondents (47%) believe that the arrest of the minister has “cast a shadow” over the government of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Just over a third (38%) believe that the situation has “cast a shadow” on the president.
One third of respondents (36%) believe that the arrest of Ulyukaev is “the beginning of a serious fight against corruption in the state apparatus”, while another third (30%) believe that it is “an echo of the struggle for spheres of influence between high-ranking officials”. One in five (21%) called the arrest “the beginning of the onset of security forces on the economic bloc of the government”.
At the same time, two-thirds of respondents believe the arrest of the minister is “a manifestation of the universal decay and corruption of power”. However, another quarter (27%) called it “an isolated, atypical phenomenon for the senior management of the country”.
The survey was conducted November 8-21 on a representative nationwide sample of urban and rural population of 1,600 people aged 18 years and older in 137 settlements of 48 regions of the country.