Levada Center on the January protests: assessments and sentiments

Levada Center on the January protests: assessments and sentiments

Experts – on the results of the survey; Levada Center on recent events in Russia associated with Alexei Navalny

80 percent of Russian citizens know about the recent mass demonstrations in solidarity with Alexei Navalny. These are the data of the next survey conducted by «Levada Center».

Sociologists note that this is the highest level of awareness of protests in recent years. At the same time, only 21 percent of respondents closely followed the events related to the arrest of Navalny, and 59 percent know about them by hearsay..

According to various sources, several hundred people in more than one hundred cities took part in the actions in defense of the opposition politician. The number of people detained during the performances exceeded 11 thousand people.

According to research «Levada Center», 22 percent of respondents said they had a positive attitude towards protesters, negatively or indifferently – 39 and 37 percent respectively.

In addition, 43 percent of respondents agreed that the main motive that prompted people to take to the streets was general dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in the country, and 28 percent believed that the protesters were stimulated by someone else’s money..

We will remind, on the eve of the official representative of the US State Department Ned Price said that the Joe Biden administration is doing everything possible to «hold the Russian regime accountable for its hostile actions on all fronts».

«Of course, in the early days of this administration, we witnessed brutal repressions against Russian citizens who took to the streets only to exercise the rights guaranteed to them by the Russian constitution.», – highlighted by Ned Price.

Boris Kagarlitsky: «In general, this is a very deplorable indicator for the authorities.»

Data captured «Levada Center», partly reflect reality, but they do not explain anything, thinks the director of the Institute for Globalization and Social Movements Boris Kagarlitsky. In his opinion, in Russian conditions it is extremely difficult to make a high-quality sample.

«In general, Russian society does not lend itself well to quantitative measurements by sociological methods., – he says in a commentary for the Russian Service «Voices of America». – Because it is too fragmented and differentiated – much more so than the classical type of democratic society. But on the whole, this is a very deplorable indicator for the authorities. Because if 22 percent approve of the actions of the protesters (and, consequently, the protests themselves), then this is more than any of the opposition parties represented in the State Duma gets votes in the elections.».

Moreover, if we conditionally extrapolate the results of the survey to the entire adult population of Russia, then 22 percent make up a multi-million mass, states Boris Kagarlitsky: «These data (if they are, of course, correct) also testify to the enormous politicization of society. Because, in my opinion, the overwhelming majority of Russians are absolutely apolitical. Worse, the actual voter turnout (not the same as «drawn» officially) is somewhere around 25-30 percent of the total number of voters».

In addition, a significant part of Russians are afraid to admit their sympathy for the protesters, which is obvious, says the director of the Institute for Globalization and Social Movements. It seems to him that the country is at a turning point and in any case, there will be no return to the life that was before 2020. There will be either total domination of the current regime, or serious and deep political changes will really begin, summed up Boris Kagarlitsky.

Alexey Roshchin: «Events developed too rapidly for Russians who were unaccustomed to active political battles»

In turn, a social psychologist Alexey Roshchin expressed doubts about the reliability of all polls on political topics in Russia. Also, in his opinion, given the atmosphere of fear-mongering in the country, some Russians are afraid to publicly admit their sympathy for Navalny and the protesters. At the same time, he suggested that the survey to a certain extent reflects the current balance of power and fixes the stratification of society..

«And again, there is nothing new here., – the interlocutor of the Russian service argues «Voices of America». – Navalny, unlike Lenin in 1917, returned to Russia, in which there is no revolutionary situation. In fact, it turned out that he came to create this situation almost from scratch. This is a unique task for any politician, and it is hardly solvable in Russian conditions.».

Among other things, Alexey Navalny did not bother with the preparation «April theses», in any case, until he made them public and explained, says Alexei Roshchin: «There is a revelation film about «Putin’s palace», but there is no positive program that would show what Navalny and his supporters, in fact, want in the first place, what are the main goals they are pursuing. In principle, they have such a program, but it would be nice to update it, taking into account the current realities and how it should be presented. In addition, the events developed too rapidly for the Russians, unaccustomed to active political battles.».

All together, as well as a number of other reasons, led to the fact that many took a comfortable position as a spectator who is watching a game of a kind of political ping-pong, the social psychologist believes..

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