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Russians Increasingly Reluctant To Protest – Poll


The Russians are expecting less mass protests and are increasingly more reluctant to support them personally, sociologists report.

"For the third month running, the number of Russians expecting mass street protests has been falling. In March, they accounted for 33 per cent, and in June only 25 per cent," Interfax learnt from the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM), which carried out a poll in 140 localities in 42 regions, territories and republics of Russia on 13-14 June.

The number of Russians who believe that protests in their locality are unlikely continues to grow (from 59 per cent in March to 71 per cent in June), VTsIOM reported.

At the same time the number of people who could not answer this question has halved from 8 per cent in March to 4 per cent in June.

The poll showed that respondents who think protest actions in their localities are possible mostly expect rallies and demonstrations (72 per cent). In the second place is the collection of signatures for petitions, proclamations and demands (43 per cent).

One in four of those who think protests are possible is expecting strikes (25 per cent); 13 per cent think hunger strikes are possible, and 9 per cent expect the seizure of buildings and blockades of roads.

The Russians believe boycotts (3 per cent) and armed clashes (2 per cent) are least likely.

A majority of the listed forms of protests are expected mostly by residents of capitals: 79 per cent expect rallies, 52 per cent strikes (25 per cent of all those polled), 39 per cent hunger strikes, 28 per cent seizure of buildings and blockades of roads, 13 per cent boycotts and 10 per cent armed clashes.

Russians living in big cities more often than others forecast protests in the form of collection of signatures for petitions.

"The protest activity of our citizens is still low. More and more Russians say they are not ready to support mass protests - the number of those has increased by 10 per cent since March (from 64 per cent to 74 per cent)," VTsIOM reported.

One in five (21 per cent) is ready to take part in such actions. Potential protesters are usually residents of the Northwestern and Far Eastern Federal Districts (31 per cent and 29 per cent respectively), residents of big and medium-sized cities (24-25 per cent), LDPR supporters (41 per cent). Protest actions are not supported by residents of the Central District (78 per cent), southerners and Siberians (76 per cent in each category), Moscow and St Petersburg residents (81 per cent) and One Russia supporters (78 per cent).

Those who are ready to take part in protests are most often ready to support rallies and demonstrations (62 per cent); 54 per cent accept protests as collection of signatures for petitions; 14 per cent are ready to take part in strikes, 5 per cent in hunger strikes, 4 per cent each in the seizure of houses and blockades of roads and boycotts, and 3 per cent in armed clashes.

Fifty-four per cent could not say in which protest actions they would be ready to take part.

The readiness to take part in rallies and collection of signatures for petitions were showed most often by residents of medium-sized towns (76 and 60 per cent respectively). Capital residents most often support such forms of protests as strikes (22 per cent), hunger strikes and armed clashes (13 per cent each), seizure of buildings, blockade of roads and boycott (9 per cent each).

Alinga Consulting Group

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