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Nearly Half of Russians Support Anti-Kremlin Protests in Far East – Poll

People have taken to the streets of Khabarovsk near the Chinese border for 18 days in a row. Dmitry Morgulis / TASS

Nearly half of Russians say they approve of a recent wave of anti-Kremlin protests in the Far East, according to an independent Levada Center poll published Tuesday.

Mass protests broke out this month after the arrest of the Khabarovsk region’s popular governor Sergei Furgal and his replacement with a Putin-appointed lawmaker from an outside region. People have taken to the streets of Khabarovsk near the Chinese border for 18 days in a row, marking an unprecedented show of opposition to the Kremlin in the region.

Forty-five percent of Russians surveyed by Levada said they view the protests positively, Levada’s poll said. 

Just 17% of respondents said they view the protests negatively, while 26% said they view them with neutrality.

When asked whether they would take part in similar protests in their own region, 29% of respondents said they would.

Levada conducted the survey among 1,617 Russian respondents on July 24-25.

The results come weeks after Russian voters approved a set of constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to extend his rule until 2036 in a highly controversial plebiscite.

Another Levada poll conducted in June said Russians are increasingly expressing a willingness to protest as public trust in Putin falls.

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