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Protest sentiment back to the level of December 2011

August 02, 2012, 13:15 UTC+3

Sociologists explain it by an increase in prices of public utility services and alcohol

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MOSCOW, August 2 (Itar-Tass) — Levada Center sociologists reported a new surge of protest sentiment in July. The number of persons wishing to attend protest actions exceeded the record indicators registered last December. Sociologists explain it by an increase in prices of public utility services and alcohol. Meanwhile, a majority of the population simply do not notice the reprisals against the Opposition.

According to Levada Center, whereas rallies were only supported by 32 percent of respondents in March, this number grew to 42 percent by July, which is close to the discontent registered in December 2011 /44 percent/, the RBK Daily reports. Also, there is a larger number of people who say they are ready to joint protests in case of election fraud in their towns; 4 percent say they are 100-percent ready, while 14 percent say they are rather ready, which exceeds the December 2011 indicator. The number of respondents who believe that protest sentiment should diminish has decreased, too: there were 44 percent of such respondents in April versus 24 percent at present.

According to director general of the agency of political and economic communication Dmitry Orlov, cited by the Kommersant, "mobilization factors" operated ahead of the presidential election: the threats that Zyuganov or "Bolotnaya" would come and undo the gains of Putin's epoch /stabilty and standard of living/. Today, outside of the election agenda, there apprehensions are gone. The poll was influenced foremost by the socio-economic factors: increased tariffs, higher fines for traffic rules violations and an expected increase in prices of alcoholic beverages. Orlov does not link resentment to the tougher law on rallies and non-government organizations: "of course, a majority of the population does not notice it, and is hardly informed about it."

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