Sunday, September 8, 2019

Kremlin Responding to Levada Poll to Avoid Disaster at Ballot Box, Yudin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 4 – The new Levada Center survey showing that large numbers of Russians no longer buy the Kremlin’s line that foreigners were behind the recent protests in the capital has prompted the powers that be to drop some charges it brought against demonstrators lest the government face “a catastrophe” at the polls n September 8. 

            According to the Moscow blogger, the Levada Center results show that while the police may have been able to sell their notions about “’mass disorders’” and “’foreign interference’” to the Kremlin, they haven’t been able to do so to a large swath of the Russian population (

            Instead, they show that the share of the population that gets its news from the Internet and is skeptical about the regime’s propaganda is continuing to grow and will only bet bigger while the fraction that still gets its news only from television and supports the Kremlin line is declining in size and will only continue to do so.

            Dropping some charges against the demonstrators is “an act of despair to avoid electoral catastrophe,” Yudin says, and prevent the outcome from being seen as a referendum on the regime. The Levada results, “which of course the Kremlin has had for a long time, were if you a kind of advance voting” -- and one that has had an impact.

            But this is not the end of this story either in advance of the upcoming reginal and municipal elections but more generally. It is a sign that the Kremlin now recognizes that it has a problem and that it has no choice but to read the polls and take actions in response to them, Yudin suggests.

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