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Russians Increasingly Support Opposition Protests, Poll Says

Opposition supporters waving white ribbons, the symbol of the protest movement, at a June demonstration on Prospekt Sakharova.

The support of ordinary Russians for opposition protests has grown since Vladimir Putin was elected to a third term as president, according to a poll released Wednesday.

In July, 42 percent of respondents said they backed opposition protests, as opposed to 32 percent in March, the month Putin won the presidential election, the independent Levada Center pollster said on its website.

But July's figure fell short of the 44 percent recorded in December 2011, when the political opposition kicked off large rallies over disputed State Duma elections.

The latest survey also indicated a growing desire among Russians to take part in demonstrations against electoral fraud. From June to July, this indicator rose by 5 percentage points, from 14 percent to 19 percent. In addition, 5 percent of respondents said they would “definitely” attend such protests, the highest figure seen in the poll since it started to be conducted monthly in December.

Levada Center interviewed about 1,600 respondents in 45 regions for the survey, which had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

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