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Poll: Most Russians indifferent to Khodorkovsky’s early release

January 10, 2014, 17:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Public Opinion Foundation polled 1,500 people in 100 populated localities on December 29, 2013
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Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuyev

MOSCOW, January 10. /ITAR-TASS/. The early release of ex-YUKOS chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been an insignificant event for most Russians. The level of support for the pardoned oil tycoon remains low, Russian political scientists told Itar-Tass on Friday.

An early parole for Khodorkovsky has left 41% of the Russians indifferent, the Public Opinion Foundation wrote on its official website.

Sociologists believe that 38% of respondents considered Khodorkovsky’s release to be “insignificant” for Russia. Only 7 percent expect the businessman’s release to have some positive consequences for the country. In the meantime, 8% of respondents believe that the consequences will be more negative rather than positive.

At the same time, 41% of the Russians replied that they were indifferent to Khodorkovsy’s release; 13% said their attitude to the tycoon’s release was positive while the reaction of 11% of respondents was negative.

Asked about the general attitude to Khodorkovsky, 41% replied that their attitude was indifferent; 9% said that it was positive compared to 15% who said that their attitude was negative; 30% of respondents said that they did not know who Khodorkovsky was and 15% hesitated to give any answer.

The Public Opinion Foundation polled 1,500 people in 100 populated localities on December 29, 2013. The statistical error does not exceed 3.6%.

"On the whole, Khodorkovsky’s release went practically unnoticed. Most Russians consider the event to be of little significance for Russia and for the world,” Leonid Polyakov, the deputy dean of department of applied political studies of the National Research University — High School of Economics, told Itar-Tass.

According to him, Khodorkovsky has always had a narrow group of supporters, and that narrow circle has not expanded for an inch.

Polyakov said that the public opinion poll had shown that Khodorkovsky had a narrow group of supporters who saw enormous meaning in his release.

“On a national scale, they are those who are called a creative class and the residents of mega cities,” the expert emphasized.

Political scientist Pavel Danilin in turn said that Khodorkovksy had always been unknown to the majority of Russian population and had been interesting only to a small club of paid people in Moscow.

“The poll’s results confirmed that even decades of imprisonment and the excitement after the tycoon’s release had failed to stir interest in Khodorkovsky as a public figure,” Danilin said.

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