A third of Russians back opposition demands, only 22% believe rallies can be effective - poll

Russians are skeptical about demonstrations and many have not heard about the opposition rally scheduled for March 1 but a considerable part of them back the demands to be made during the March 1 action irrespective of the event per se and its organizers, General Director of the Institute for Priority Regional Projects Nikolai Mironov said.

"Russians are skeptical about rallies: almost half of respondents believe that mass actions can lead to nothing, 27.3% argue they can make things even worse and only 22% say they can influence the authorities," Mironov said at a press conference on Thursday, presenting outcomes of an opinion poll about public trust in opposition forces. The poll was held in view of the March 1 rally of the opposition.

A significant part of respondents supported the program separately from the rally itself and its organizers. For example, 38.9% supported anticorruption demands, 20.8% backed fair elections and the opposition's access to ballots and 18.6% spoke in favor of a judicial reform and independent courts.

People did not care much about such demands as the release of prisoners and the end to media censorship and propaganda, which gained support of 2.6% and 7.7% of respondents, respectively.

The Institute for Priority Regional Projects interviewed 1,600 Russians older than 18 in 120 populated localities in 43 constituent territories in February 2015, Mironov said.

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