June 27 - An independent survey has found that nearly two-thirds of Russians are unhappy with their Government's spending for next year's Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi, as the estimated amount of Federal funds going on hosting the Games looks set to top $20 billion (£13 billion/€15 billion).
The survey, carried out by independent institute the Levada Centre, an independent, non-Governmental polling and sociological research organisation, questioned 1,601 people regarding solely the amount of Federal funds that would be spent on hosting the Games, which are due to take place in February next year.
A total of 65 per cent of those questioned felt that the Government money being spent was not effective, with 46 per cent opting to choose the option that the spending was "ineffective" or "completely ineffective", and a further 19 per cent of those going as far as to believe that the money is "simply being stolen".
Just two per cent of those questioned responded that the money being spent was "very effective", whilst only 20 per cent felt that the money was being spent in a "fairly effective" manner.
Opposition leader and former deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov alleged last month that as much as $30 billion (£23 billion/€25 billion) had been embezzled from the Sochi 2014 fund, and blamed President Vladimir Putin for the supposedly missing funds.
"It is obvious that Putin's friends are running the preparations for the [2014 Sochi] Olympic Games," he said.
"It is also obvious that one is reluctant to put his own friends behind bars.
"However, we cannot look at all this passively because the scale [of their activities] will only grow bigger.
"The embezzlement they are presiding over is not just some kind of children's game but a real threat to Russia's national security."
The survey was not all doom and gloom though.
A total of 62 percent of those asked said that they were proud to be hosting the 2014 Winter Games despite the ongoing murmurings of corruption and overspending, and despite this number being down by six per cent from last year, there still looks to be a sizeable amount of public support for the Games.
A similar poll conducted four months prior to the London 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics found that 64 per cent of Britons' felt that too much money was being spent on hosting the Games, though after hosting a successful event, 80 per cent felt that London 2012 was in fact good value for money.
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