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The founder of the anti-corruption fund RosPil, Alexei Navalny, intends in the future to run for President of Russia. “I want to be president, I want to change life in the country, I want to change the state administration system,” he said on the Dozhd television channel. The opposition leader added that he wants the citizens of Russia, which is rich in oil and gas, to live not “in poverty and hopeless misery,” but “well, as a European country.” He noted that Russians are no worse than Estonians.
Navalny also expressed confidence that the verdict in the case of Kirovles will be guilty: they will try to deprive him of any chance to participate in any elections.
The Vedomosti newspaper recalls that the oppositionist is accused of organising large-scale embezzlement of property, and the proceedings will begin on April 17. The investigators believe that Navalny, when he was an advisor to the governor of the Kirov Region, organised theft of Kirovles’ property in collusion with CEO of the Kirov Regional State Unitary Enterprise Kirovles Vyacheslav Opalev. According to the investigation, in the period from May to September 2009, more than 10,000 cubic metres of the company timber was stolen, which caused damage to the regional budget worth more than 16 million roubles. The blogger said on the Dozhd TV channel that the charges of stealing timber are untenable.
The latest survey conducted by the Levada Centre has shown that, despite the fact that public recognition of Navalny has grown from 6 percent in April 2011 to 37 percent in March 2013, the percentage of those who would vote for him in the presidential election fell from 33 percent to 14 percent, the Vedomosti newspaper writes. Also, the share of those who believe in the authenticity of the corruption exposures, made public by Navalny is declining – at present there are 54 percent of them, and 19 percent of respondents believe that the information of RosPil is not true. The peak of confidence in Navalny was in the summer of 2012, when the ratio was 64 percent versus 14 percent.
President of the Political Analytics research centre Mikhail Tulsky, quoted by the Novye Izvestia newspaper, believes that despite the drop in the electoral rating, the popularity of the non-system opposition leader is still quite high.
“A wide discrediting campaign is conducted against Navalny. Lots of people hear about Navalny only that a criminal case over the machinations with timber was opened against him, that he allegedly stole money of Russian Post. And that’s the only information they know about him. Therefore, there is nothing strange in the fact that his anti-rating is slowly growing, or rather is built up by the propaganda on state television channels, in which all the investigative bodies of the country participate,” the analyst stated.