Press release №2161


  • Half of Russians are aware of the resignation of the Kazakhstan’s president
  • The major reasons for the resignation might be age, tiredness and health, according to Russians
  • 38% perceive negatively the renaming of Astana to Nur-Sultan.

MOSCOW, March 28, 2019. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a study devoted to the resignation of Nursultan Nazarbayev. He has been president of Kazakhstan since 1990.

Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his resignation last week.  VCIOM’s experts studied the Russians’ awareness and opinions on that. Almost half of Russians (45%) heard something about the resignation; 41% are well aware of that. However, half of respondents perceive it indifferently; only every fifth respondent perceives the resignation negatively (25%).

The most popular reasons behind Nazarbayev’s resignation named by Russians are his age (31%), fatigue (13%) and health condition (11%). Respondents also think that Nazarbayev might be willing to make way for the young or his successor (10%). Renaming Astana to Nur-Sultan did not evoke any (43%) or evoked negative emotions (38%).

VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on March 26, 2019. The survey involved 1,600 Russians aged 18 and over. The survey was telephone-based and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. 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.


Last week Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his resignation. Do you personally know about that, or do you hear about it for the first time? (closed-ended question, one answer)  
I heard something but do not know details 45
I am well ware 41
I hear about it for the first time  14
How did you perceive Nursultan Nazarbayev’s resignation - positively or negatively? (closed-ended question, one answer)  
Indifferently 50
Rather negatively  25
Rather positively   19
Don’t know 6
In your opinion, why did Nursultan Nazarbayev resign from office? Up to 3 answers are possible. (open-ended question, up to 3 answers)
Don’t know 38
Age  31
He was tired   13
Health/disease 11
He has a successor /He made way for the young   10
There is a time for everything 6
Fear/Pressure 5
Democratic ideas/The ruling elite  should change 3
Resignation is formal; he is in office 3
He stopped resisting 2
Public discontent 1
Unstable global environment   1
Corruption/He has stolen enough to resign 1
Personal reasons 1
Nomination of his daughter 1
Internal political situation 1
Stagnation/Crisis 0
It does not matter to me 0
Other 0
Kazakhstan’s capital Astana was renamed as Nur-Sultan to honor Nursultan Nazarbayev. What emotions do you feel about renaming the Kazakhstan’s capital – likely positive/negative/no emotions? (closed-ended question, one answer)
No emotions/ indifference 43
Likely negative 38
Likely positive 17
Don’t know 3

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  Results of our study
  In focus