Russians become less interested in politics, according to polls

Russian citizens' interest in politics has declined over the past six years with the percentage of those who are not interested in politics at all increasing from 20% to 26%, the Levada Center pollster told Interfax. The share of those who pay attention to politics occasionally has shrunk from 79% in 2006 to 72% in 2012, according to a poll conducted in late June in 134 populated areas of 45 regions.

When asked whether they would like to join political life at least in their native regions, 70% of those polled answered in the negative, up 15% since 2011. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed, as many as previously, said they are not well versed in politics and 46% of the 1,6000 citizens polled, said they are bored by politics.

Asked what Russia needs most now, 42% of respondents said "the government must be put under public control," and the same share - 42% - that state authority must be strengthened. Forty-one percent of those polled said Russia has a strong government and 44% have the opposite opinion. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed understand "strong authorities" as "authorities that guarantee the observance of laws by all agencies and citizens, but do not intervene into private citizens' lives."

The percentage of citizens who think that the authorities are controlled by the public has increased from 48% to 57% over the past two years. Fifteen percent of respondents said such control has been tightened, compared to 9% in 2010.

The share of those who do not see any public control exercised over the authorities has shrunk from 41% to 31%.

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