Saturday, November 7, 2020

Russians Less Supportive of Khabarovsk Protests and More of Belarusian Ones than They Were, Levada Center Reports

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 5 – As protests in both Khabarovsk and Belarusian cities continue, Russians are following the former somewhat less intensively than they did and are someone less positively inclined toward those who have taken to the streets and following the latter somewhat more attentively and are somewhat more supportive of Belarusians who have taken to the streets.

            Those are the findings of the Levada Center which reports the share of Russians carefully following the Khabarovsk events has fallen from 26 percent in July to 16 percent last month and the fraction supporting the protests has slipped from 45 percent to 43 percent (

            But perhaps significantly, the share of those who oppose the demonstrators and what they are seeking has fallen from 17 percent to 14 percent, with the fraction of those who say they are neutral or indifferent rising from 26 percent last summer to 40 percent in the most recent Levada Center poll.

            With regard to the demonstrations in Belarus, the share of Russians who say that they are following them closely has risen from 28 percent in September to 30 percent last month, with the shares saying they back Lukashenka or the demonstrators both rising and that of those who say they are indifferent staying roughly the same.

            The share of Russians supporting Lukashenka has fallen over the last 50 days from 43 percent to 38 percent, while that of those who say they are behind the protesters has risen from 18 percent to 21 percent. Those who are neutral or indifferent have increase slightly from 36 percent to 38 percent.

            The polling agency also sought to identify the sources Russians were getting their information about these two protests. Between July and now, the share of those who were getting their news about Khabarovsk via the Internet rose from 16 percent to 23 percent, with the share relying on television remaining in the mid-50s.

            The source of information profoundly affected Russian assessments. Fifty-five percent of those who got their information from the Internet backed the Khabarovsk protesters, while only 28 percent of those who rely on television did so. With regard to Belarus, 50 percent of Russians who rely on television say they back Lukashenka while only 26 percent of Internet users do.

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