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One Third of Russians Think Protests Are Useless

Despite Russia's economic crisis, new data suggests protest is unlikely. 

Out of those questioned in a recent poll by the independent Levada Center, 83 percent said they would not participate in a mass political demonstration.

Asked what they thought of protests, 8 percent of respondents said it was “the only way to achieve your demands,” but an equal number of people said protests were “impermissible in our country.”

The answers are in sharp contrast with those of a similar survey conducted in 1989 on the eve of the fall of the Soviet Union. Then, 44 percent of people said that they considered protests to be an extreme measure, but one that was “impossible to avoid in the current situation,” compared to 26 percent who think so today.

Belief in the effect of protests was also much higher then. In 1989, only 5 percent said they thought “nothing could be achieved” by protesting, compared to almost one-third (32 percent) of Russians today.

The survey was conducted Oct. 21-24 and questioned 1600 Russians in 48 different regions.

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