About half of Nazran residents consider relations with North Ossetia to be Ingushetia’s most acute problem
Results of a survey of residents of Nazran carried out by the "Caucasus Times" agency.
(Caucasus Times) – From October 25 to 30 2005, the Caucasus Times conducted a lightning survey of 200 residents of Ingushetia’s largest city, Nazran. The age of the respondents ranged from 16 to 65.
The results of the survey attest to the fact that the residents of Nazran, like the populations of other North-Caucasian republics, perceive the most acute problems of Ingushetia to lie both in the social and economic sphere (60%) and in the area of security (53%) - (crime and terrorism). At the same time, the specific character of Ingushetia manifested itself in the fact that the third most serious problem was considered to be relations with North Ossetia regarding the Prigorodny district (45%). Among the other problems mentioned as being significant for the population were religion (7%), the authorities (2%), and corruption (2%).
More than half of those questioned expressed pessimism about the immediate prospects for the republic’s development.
Thus, 36% of respondents believe that the overall situation in the republic will deteriorate in the near future, while only 22% hold a directly opposite opinion. A considerable proportion of those questioned (26%) do not expect any substantial changes. 16% of respondents had difficulty in giving an answer to this question.
A majority of those questioned take a very negative view of the political innovations introduced by the Kremlin involving the abolition of elected heads of regions and their appointment from the centre.
Thus, 32% of those questioned consider that this will lead to new problems, 28% are certain assured that it will aggravate existing problems, and only 20% of those questioned think that the abolition of elected regional heads and their appointment directly from the Kremlin will stabilize the situation in the republic.
The survey revealed a high degree of dissatisfaction in society at large, and as a consequence, a willingness on the part of a rather large section of the population to defend its interests via participation in various forms of protest action.
Thus, in response to the question “Are you ready to take part in anti-government actions if your dissatisfaction with authority increases?”, 13% of those questioned said they were ready, and 17% said they were "probably ready". So the total number of those who are ready or probably ready to participate in anti-government actions comprises 30% of those questioned. At the same time, in spite of a widespread pessimism and dissatisfaction with their social and economic position, 47% of respondents excluded any possibility of their participation in such actions and 14% said they were "probably not ready". 9% of respondents had difficulty in giving an answer to this question.
It is noteworthy that the distribution of answers to this question is typical of almost all the republics of the North Caucasus.
In reply to a question about its main sources of information, the overwhelming majority of the residents of Nazran mentioned television. The most popular channels were NTV (52%), RTR (22%) and ORT (16%), and also TVTs (2%). The popularity of the state-run “Ingushetiya" channel as a source of news proved to be extremely low - this channel was mentioned by only 1% of those questioned. A similar number of respondents indicated the international channels SVTs-1 and Euronews as their main sources of information.
Radio proved to be a considerably less popular source of information. 9% of those questioned indicated Ekho Moskvy, 4% mentioned Radio Liberty, and only 1% indicated Radio Rossiya and the BBC.
Of the printed media, the most popular sources of information proved to be the newspapers Serdalo (6%), Novaya Gazeta (5%), Ingushetiya (4%) and Izvestiya (4%). Additionally mentioned were Nezavisimaya Gazeta (2%), Argumenty i fakty (2%), Moskovskie Novosti (1%) and Obyedinennaya Gazeta (1%).
The Internet showed growing popularity as a source of information. Among the most frequently visited sites were Ingushetiya.ru (6%), Kavkaz.memo.ru (3%) and Ingush.ru (2%). In addition to these, respondents mentioned Magas.ru (1%), Ingform.ru (1%), Kavkazcenter (1%), Lenta.ru (1%) and Yandex.ru (1%).
Together with the electronic and printed media, the substantial part of those interrogated (30%) named as the basic information source contact with their friends and relatives.
Although the population consider Russian television as their main source of information, their degree of confidence in it proved to be rather low. Thus, 52% consider NTV their main information source, but only 33% trust this channel. 22% of those questioned use RTR as their main information source 22%, but only 4% trust it. ORT is used by 16% of respondents as their main information source, but only 8% trust this channel. The degree of confidence in TVTs coincided with the number of those who use this channel as their main source of news (2%). The same number of those questioned (2%) said they trusted the information broadcast on Euronews, and this is typical of the entire region.
On the other hand, the number of those who trust the radio station Ekho Moskvy (14%) considerably exceeded the number of those who use it as their basic source of information (9%). 3% of respondents said they trusted Radio Liberty, and 2% the BBC.
Among the printed media, respondents showed the greatest trust in Serdalo (6%), Novaya Gazeta (4%) and Severny Kavkaz (2%). The number of those who trust Nezavisimaya Gazeta (1%), Izvestiya (2%) and Ingushetya (1%) proved to be considerably lower than the number of those who use those publications as their main source of information.
Trust in the majority of Internet sites indicated as a basic information source also proved to be considerably lower than the number of those using these sites as their main source of information. Thus, although the site Ingushetiya.ru was indicated as the basic information source for 6% of those questioned, only 1% said they trusted this site. Some respondents indicated all human rights and independent sites as deserving of trust (1%).
The respondents have a fairly high degree of trust in contact with friends and relatives (28%).
From the authors: The fact that for almost half (45%) of the residents of Nazran the third most serious problem was thought to be relations with North Ossetia regarding the Prigorodny district attests to the fact that the problem of the Ossetian- Ingush conflict of 1992 still remains unresolved.
Note: This survey was conducted within the framework of a 12- month study project called "Public Opinion in the North Caucasus", which is being carried out in all the North-Caucasian republics with the financial support of the American foundation NED. The distribution of replies to the questions of the survey is given in percentages. Statistical error in surveys of this kind is within the range of 7 %. Two versions of a reply were allowed for some of the questions. Participants in the survey were mainly representatives of the intelligentsia, students, employees, workers and pensioners - members of the different ethnic groups that constitute the population of Ingushetia (Ingushes, Chechens, Russians, Cossacks).
Charts (answers are in percentages):
Translated by David McDuff.