Press release №1914
29.12.2016
THE 2016 VLADIMIR PUTIN PRESS CONFERENCE: FIRST IMPRESSIONS

IN BRIEF

  • 35% of Russians followed the press conference of the president in full or in part
  • An overwhelming majority of respondents (88%) who are familiar with the content of the dialogue between the president and the journalists in full or in part are satisfied with the answers of the president
  • The topics Russians remembered most are as follows: pensions, the situation in Syria, relationships with the Western countries and Ukraine, and country’ military capabilities.

Half of Russians are aware of what the press conference involving Vladimir Putin was about. The level of satisfaction with the presidents’ answers is extremely high this year.

MOSCOW, December 29, 2016.  Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of the survey describing the Russians’ interest in the Russian president’s press conference, and their assessments of the conversation between the president and the journalists.

Fifty-one percent of Russians are familiar with the content of the presidents’ talk with journalists (to compare: in 2015 this share was 46%). Eleven percent of Russian watched the live press conference in full (27% of persons aged 60 and over), 24% - in part; 16% found out the press conference highlights from the TV newscasts.

One-third of respondents who learnt the content of the press conference from the newscasts (36%) consider the presidential talk to be interesting; a further 38% think that only particular topics were interesting. Every tenth (9%) thinks that the press conference was interesting but too lengthy. Only 12% have negative opinions: 8% think that the conversation was boring, 4% were disappointed with the talk. These figures are similar to the previous year outcomes.  

At the same time, the general level of satisfaction with the 2016 press conference has reached its all time high – 88% (across all demographic groups this share exceeds 80%). Only 9% of respondents who followed the press conference live or discovered the highlights from the newscasts are satisfied with the way the president answered the questions of the journalists. 

Apart from the question about the retired persons and pensions (10%), most of Russians remember foreign policy topics such as the situation in Syria (10%), relationships with the Western countries (9%) and Ukraine (9%), as well as Russia’s military capabilities and army expenditures (8%). Fewer respondents mentioned Putin’s answers to the questions related to the 2018 presidential elections, possible election rescheduling (6%), country’s economic situation, inflation (5%), the Kerch Strait Bridge, launch of the gas pipe in Crimea (5%) et cet.

The VCIOM survey was carried out on December 24-26, 2016, using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of telephone numbers operating in Russia, and involved 1800 respondents. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

This week Vladimir Putin answered the questions of the journalists live. Did you follow this talk or not?* (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  2011 ** 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Yes, I followed attentively the live dialogue from the beginning to the end 11 11 10 15 13 11
Yes, I  watched particular moments live 23 23 19 21 22 24
Yes, I found out about the highlights from TV newscasts, newspapers and the Internet 14 18 12 12 11 16
No, I did not watch the performance 51 47 57 50 53 48
Don’t know 1 1 2 2 1 1

* In 2011-2015 there were household surveys

**In 2011 the question referred to the D. Medvedev press conference; up to 2015 the question was “Did you follow the conversation between the Russian president and the mass media representatives?”   

Which of the following statements can best describe your impressions of the recent presidential performance?* (closed-ended question, one answer, % of those who followed the press conference personally or found out on the news)
2011 ** 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
I was interested in the entire Putin’s performance 15 17 22 42 36 36
I was interested in some topics, and not interested in others 40 47 46 37 38 38
The performance was interesting  but too lengthy 12 13 10 8 9 9
It was boring; the performance did not impress me much 13 11 11 6 8 8
Nothing but disappointment and irritation   12 8 8 4 5 4
Don’t know 8 4 3 3 4 5

* In 2011-2015,  there were household surveys; up to 2015 the question was “Which of the following statements can best describe your impression of the presidential press conference?”

**In 2011 the question referred to the D. Medvedev press conference

Are you generally satisfied with the way V. Putin answered the questions of the journalists?*  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of those who followed the press conference personally or found out on the news)
2006 2007 2011 ** 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Rather satisfied 81 79 58 66 66 82 81 88
Rather not satisfied 12 12 27 24 26 13 16 9
Don’t know 7 9 15 10 8 5 3 3

* In 2006-2015, there were household surveys.  

**In 2011 the question referred to the D. Medvedev press conference.

What journalists’ questions and Putin’s answers did you remember and like most?  (open-ended question, more than three answers, % of those who followed the press conference personally or found out on the news)
 Total respondents
About pensions and retired persons  10
About the situation in Syria and Russian involvement in the conflict 10
About relationships with Western countries/ foreign policy 9
About relationships with Ukraine 9
About military expenditures / a statement about Russian high military capabilities 8
About Putin’s plans for presidential elections in 2018, about possible election rescheduling 6
About Russia’s economic situation / inflation 5
About the Kerch Strait bridge to Crimea, gas pipe launch 5
About accused journalists and political prisoners 4
About relationships with Turkey and the murder of the Russian ambassador in Turkey3
About Russia’s intervention into the American elections 3
About education and children literature 3
About internal policy / assistance in local problems3
About corruption and corruption scandals 3
About alcohol addiction in the country / Irkutsk mass poisoning 3
About support  for agriculture and small business 2
Answers to foreign journalists2
About the state of Russian roads 2
About social policy 1
About incomes, salaries in the country 1
About quality of health services and medicines  1
About natural resources: gas, coal, oil1
About terrorism 1
About environmental issues 1
About tax differentiation  1
About doping scandal1
Aboutjuvenile judiciary1
About public utilities rates and capital repairs 1
About the prolongation of sanctions, import substitution 1
About the VDNKh kvas drink 1
I liked everything 2
Nothing 37
Other 7
I cannot recall them/Don’t know5
Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory!
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