Russia is voting in its general elections in the second of three days for a new parliament, as well as some local and regional bodies. Although Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party is expected to win heavily, opinion polls show that, in reality, the president’s party has never been less popular, as our correspondents in the Urals region report.
When opposition activist Elena Pariy tries to talk to Russians about the United Russia party, all she gets is “no comment,” silence, or “of course not,” when asked if they will vote for President Putin’s party. .
“Public opinion is radically changing. It is because of the pension reform, in particular, and the constitutional amendments. And the additional subsidies paid before the elections, many people saw as a bribe, “said Pariy.
Many say the latest pension reform was a move that shattered opinion. For example, a Russian woman, Olga, was eager to get her meager pension to supplement her income from odd jobs, but the reform means that now she won’t receive it for eight years. “They gave 10,000 rubles to retirees, who now cannot decide whether to spend it on pants or socks,” he said bitterly.
Click on the player above to see this special report from our correspondents Gulliver Cragg and Elena Volochine in the Urals region of central Russia.