Sergei Shepil, soldier returned from Chechnya
Life will be better. First of all, Putin is the youngest among the candidates, so I think he will do more for young people. He has already done a lot for the army. Sending us to Chechnya? Yeltsin started it, not Putin. We are leaving now; we've just come out of hospital; we will get paid.
We haven't watched a lot of television recently. But I definitely know that I'm not for the Communists. I don't like their regime. I think Putin is closer to capitalist ideas. I hope things will settle down with him.
Nadezhda Surikova, MGU journalism student
I feel a bit wary about him not because I know about his merits or not but simply because the impression I have of him is not complimentary. I don't know what he will do, but I think some freedoms will be restricted under him. What worries me most of all since it will be directly connected with my future profession journalism is freedom of speech and press. But I don't think that it would have been any better under [Gennady] Zyuganov in this respect. It's like back in 1996, choosing the lesser of two evils.
Olesya Yakovleva, medical student
I don't like Putin at all. I like [Vladimir] Zhirinovsky. Not because he poses as a madman, but because he tells the truth. There's total chaos in the country. I don't see anyone who would lead us out of this crisis. With Putin, nothing will change because President Yeltsin chose him, so Putin will be just like him. He might be sorting out Chechnya now, promising pension hikes to pensioners, but that's part of his presidential campaign. It will be the same robbery, the same poverty.
YurY Kureyev, retired engineer,
We will have President Putin with his promised dictatorship of law. But in reality, this is dictatorship of thieves in law, i.e. [Boris] Berezovsky, [Anatoly] Chubais, [Roman] Abramovich, [Mikhail] Khodorkovsky and the likes of them. What could have stopped Putin was a mass boycott of the elections. But Zyuganov refused to support it. All these promises of a better life and order are rubbish. Look how he is keeping his old guard.
Tatyana Izmestyeva, pensioner
Life will be a lot worse because there's a lie everywhere. Listen to anyone, all are for Zyuganov, but on television it's all the same. Putin's rating is higher, Zyuganov's a lot lower. This is just a lie. Putin's popularity is fake, his votes are rigged.
Mikhail Nikulenkov, electrician
Why would anything change? In principle, these are the same people at the top. The same power. Maybe it will be a little bit stricter, but I don't think it will be too serious. Those who are for Putin hope life will be better. I don't see any alternatives. But in general, it doesn't really bother me. He is there, not in my way. I don't fear for my freedom.