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More than half of Russians think environmental situation is unfavorable - poll

MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti, Tatyana Firsova) - An authoritative Russian pollster released a survey Friday that showed more than half of Russians think the environmental situation where they live is unfavorable.

The All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) reported that 55% of respondents thought the environmental situation was unfavorable and 9% said it was on the verge of disaster.

Quite a different opinion was expressed by 44% of respondents, who said that environmental conditions were acceptable.

More than half of Moscow and St. Petersburg residents (56%) and rural dwellers (53%) had a positive opinion on the ecological situation. Seventy-two percent of residents of other Russian cities with populations exceeding 500,000 considered the situation poor.

As to the future outlook, 44% of respondents predict the situation will deteriorate in the next two or three years, whereas only 7% remain optimistic.

Conducted on July 23-24, the survey included 1,600 people in 153 communities in 46 regions, territories, and republics.

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