MOSCOW, March 22 (Itar-Tass) —— The protest movement, which is seeking for fair elections in Russia, is subsiding and the recent rallies mainly evoke no reaction or the feeling of worry, the Kommersant daily reported. Such moods in the respondents were found by the sociologists of the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM). The oppositionists believe that “the counter-propaganda, which is waged by the Kremlin” affected the public opinion, and warn that “when the prices go up, already other people will go out in the streets.”
“The peak of popularity of opposition rallies passed, the wave of protest moods is subsiding and soon the rallies will end,” 38% of pollsters said in a VCIOM sociological survey. Another 39% of respondents believe that the rallies of the For Fair Elections movement (which is called as the opposition movement in the VCIOM poll) continue, but will not be so massive and highly publicized. Some nine percent of respondents believe that the popularity of opposition rallies will grow. The share of those, who are ready to participate in the protest actions with the demands to revise the election results after March 4, has made seven percent (ten percent after the State Duma elections). Some 31% believe this demand grounded, but 38% are not going to participate in the protest actions. Some 49% are confident now that such attitude to the election results is groundless (28% before).
VCIOM General Director Valery Fedorov explained these changes in the public moods by the fact that the reasons for rallies are exhausted. “The organizers of the rallies inscribed For Fair Elections on their banners, and the authorities responded to this slogan with the web cameras installed at the polling stations and the attraction of observers,” he told the Kommersant. “The second reason is that contrary to a vague result of United Russia Vladimir Putin’s result is not questioned and his victory does not evoke surprise and discontent of most people,” he said. The rallies turned in routine by March, Fedorov said.
As for the attitude of respondents to the past For Fair Elections rallies, most of them said that they are indifferent to them or have negative emotions over the rallies. Valery Fedorov noted that the protest rallies passed mainly in big cities, whereas “people in remote regions are thinking about not how to organize fair elections, but how to ensure security and the growth of incomes, so the agenda is sooner paternalistic there.” The sociologist also noted that the rallies are associated with “the wave of rallies in the early nineties,” which was accompanied with the breakup of the Soviet Union and “the disruption of usual lifestyle and the coming of a new unfair order.”