Staunton, April 16 – The results of a new Public Opinion Foundation poll about how many Russians know about the harassment allegations against Duma deputy Leonid Slutsky says a great deal about the Kremlin’s ability to keep even the most troubling charges from spreading to the population at large and about Russian attitudes on gender roles and sexual harassment.
The country-wide poll found that only four percent of all Russians know about the accusations and another 17 percent said they had “heard something about it.” But 77 percent said they were hearing about the case for the first time from those conducting the surveys (meduza.io/news/2018/04/16/tri-chetverti-rossiyan-ne-slyshali-ob-obvineniyah-deputata-slutskogo-v-domogatelstvah-a-te-kto-slyshal-ne-poverili).
And among the 21 percent who knew or had heard about the accusation, more than 30 percent called the charges baseless, while 20 percent said they were justified. Almost half – 48 percent – said they find it difficult to say how they evaluate the charges by a series of women against the senior Duma official.
Those Russians who say the accusations are baseless argue that the women making the charges are doing so to promote themselves and that Slutsky himself is “’a worthy man.’” They agreed with the conclusion of the Duma ethics commission that Slutsky is innocent of all their charges.
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