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New poll reveals little support for pro-Navalny rallies in Russia, with vast majority opposed or indifferent to demonstrations

New poll reveals little support for pro-Navalny rallies in Russia, with vast majority opposed or indifferent to demonstrations
A poll conducted after two successive weeks of protests in support of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny has revealed that just 22 percent of Russians were in favor of the rallies, with even fewer willing to join in.

In recent weeks, three unauthorized demonstrations have been organized by allies of the activist, who is currently in prison after being found to have broken the terms of a suspended sentence. On January 23 and January 31, organized marches were held in the center of cities throughout Russia, and on February 2, pro-Navalny supporters came out onto the streets of Moscow after he was given time behind bars.

A survey from the Levada Center, a registered foreign agent which has received foreign funding in the past, has discovered that only 22 percent of Russians are in favor of the rallies.

This figure is less than half the number of people who backed demonstrators in the August 2020 protests in Khabarovsk in support of jailed former local Governor Sergey Furgal.

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“When it comes to the [pro-Navalny] protesters, the prevailing opinions are negative (39%) and indifference (37%),” the report revealed, noting that just 16 percent of those surveyed saw the Khabarovsk demonstrations in a bad light.

The results showed that the attitude to the recent demonstrations is correlated by age, with 53 percent of those 55 and older responding negatively, compared to 22 percent of under 25s.

Levada also discovered that the willingness of Russians to take part in a political protest has dropped significantly, as just 15 percent revealed that they would be happy to join in. This is a fall from 19 percent in November 2020 and the lowest figure since six percent in March 2018. However, despite the small amount of people willing to participate, 45 percent of respondents said they expect new political protests.

The lack of people wanting to participate comes on the back of Navalny’s increasing disapproval rate, which has now reached 56 percent, with just 19 percent supporting his activities. For his backers, recent videos of a harsh police crackdown will have contributed to some of them not wanting to take to the streets.

Earlier this week, another Levada poll revealed that over a quarter of Russians had watched Navalny’s video about a large mansion on the Black Sea coast said to be owned by President Vladimir Putin. However, 77 percent of those polled said it did not change their attitude toward the country’s leader.

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