Staunton, May 13 – The Kremlin has conducted a behind the scenes poll to determine how the heads of federal subjects are viewed by their own people, with all of them ranked according to the difference between those who are supported by them and those who their people would like to see removed, the RBC news agency reports, citing anonymous sources.
Those where the number of residents wanting a replacement exceeds that of residents supporting the incumbent was greatest, according to the poll, were Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea, Arkhangelsk oblast, Komi Republic and the Republic of Ingushetia (rbc.ru/politics/13/05/2019/5cd833c69a79473d96e31d96).
Ingushetia’s Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was at the very bottom of the list: with 62 percent wanting him to be replaced and only 22 percent favoring his retention, a situation not surprising given the protests that have roiled public life there since he gave away 26,000 hectares of Russia’s smallest federal subject (other than cities) to neighboring Chechnya last September.
Those governors at the other end of the scale, whose support outnumbered opposition were Sergey Sobyanin in Moscow city (a 59 percent advantage of support over opposition), Aleksey Dyumin of Tula Oblast (57 percent), Aleksandr Tsybulsky of the Nenets Autonomous District (56 percent), and Aleksandr Moor of Tyumen Oblast (55 percent).
This is at least the second such poll the Kremlin has commissioned because the sources told RBC that some governors had gone up and others down in the rating while others remained “stable” in either positive or negative territory.
But experts with whom the journalists spoke cautioned against assuming that these poll ratings represent a true surrogate for the elections that no longer occur or matter. Instead, they suggested, the Kremlin will continue to take into account personal relationships and the fact that some federal subjects are more difficult to rule than others.