The Russian prime minister has easily survived a no-confidence vote in parliament. But most pro-government MPS stayed away in a clear show of dissatisfaction. The motion was put forward by the Communist and nationalist opposition, prompted by public anger at reforms of the Soviet-era welfare system. Before the vote, premier Mikhail Fradkov told the State Duma that his administration took full responsibility for its actions. He said it had taken note of the message being sent and will now try to find a solution.
But the Communist leader Gennady Zuganov demanded concrete action, urging the withdrawal of the reforms in the interests of the majority of Russia’s citizens. As for President Putin, he has stood by the controversial new law while publicly dressing down ministers for clumsy implementation of the reforms.