Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Levada Center Fears Closure After Warning

Independent pollster Levada Center has said that it could have to close after prosecutors warned the organization against violating legislation governing foreign-funded NGOs.

"The warning puts the Yury Levada Center in a very difficult situation, practically forcing it to cease its activities as an independent research organization conducting regular public opinion polls," Lev Gudkov, the pollster's director, said in a statement on Monday.

Gudkov said that prosecutors clearly interpret Levada Center's analytical articles and opinion polls as "political activity" and are trying to force the pollster to register as a "foreign agent" in keeping with legislation that came into effect late last year.

Levada Center posted the text of the warning issued by the Savyolovskaya District Prosecutor's Office on its website on Monday, saying it carried with it the treat of sanctions and could undermine its reputation.

In the statement, Gudkov stressed that Levada Center is a noncommercial organization and that overseas grants and payments by foreign clients make up an insignificant share of the center's budget, between 1.5 and 3 percent.

While the "foreign agents" law puts the organization's future at risk, Gudkov said the pollster plans to continue all its projects, including the Public Opinion Bulletin magazine, maintaining its website and conducting surveys.

But the center is not going to file a lawsuit over prosecutors' warning due to protracted legal procedures. "At present, the Levada Center's administration is holding consultations with lawyers and looking for possible ways out of the current situation," Gudkov said.

Related articles:

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more