Some good seems to have come out of the credit collapse:
The crisis revealed the clay feet of the Putin/Medvedev regime, not only showing the extent to which its relative prosperity was tied to high oil prices but also exposing the fakery of its feel-good propaganda machine. While state-controlled television news avoided the word “crisis” – except with regard to the West – Russian citizens rushed to convert rubles to dollars.
Polls by the Public Opinion Fund found a sharp drop in confidence in the mainstream media. By late December, close to half of Russians said that media reports on the economy were biased and minimized economic problems; 30 percent (up from 23 percent in November) said that “journalists know the real state of the economy but are not allowed to tell the truth.”
Trust in Putin and Medvedev may suffer as well. Bizarrely, over 80 percent of those polled recently still approved of Putin’s performance as prime minister – though only 43 percent thought Russia was headed in the right direction.
I’d trust modern Russian polls about as much as I used to trust polls out of the old Soviet Union. Does anyone believe that Putin really enjoys 80% support?