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Russians Say State Institutions Depend on Kremlin

Most Russians believe that the State Duma, courts and state media are not independent — and they like it that way, according to a survey released Monday.

The survey, conducted by the independent Levada Center, found that only 12 percent of people considered the Duma independent, while 45 percent said it was significantly dependent on the presidential administration and another 27 percent said it was completely dependent on the office.

The survey also found that 71 percent of people believe that state-owned national media are controlled by the presidential administration, while 64 percent felt the same about the courts.

The sphere of business fared little better; only 5 percent of those asked thought that Russian entrepreneurs are completely independent.

But the poll does not show that Russians believe this to be a bad thing.

"The majority of Russians still thinks it right that the president observes and controls the activities of other institutions and seems to favor this form of top-down government," said Alexei Grazhdankin, deputy head of the Levada Center, according to Kommersant.

Back in July, the Levada Center published the results of a different poll, stating that 55 percent of citizens thought that all important decisions in Russia were made by the presidential administration.

Monday's nationwide poll was conducted between Sept. 21 and 24 and included 1,600 respondents. No margin of error was given, but Levada’s polls usually are within 3-4 percentage points.

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