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MOSCOW, August 15 (Itar-Tass) - Edward Snowden’s decision to disclose details of wholesale spying by U.S. secret services on Internet users looks to most Russians as an attempt to let the world know the truth. This opinion is shared by 52% of Russians polled by the national public opinion studies centre WCIOM. According to the survey the pollster published on Thursday, about a quarter of Russians (26%) tend to believe that Snowden sought to discredit the activities of secret services.
As follows from the poll, two-thirds of Russians (67%) know about Edward Snowden - 23% are well-informed about that man, and 44 said they had heard something. Snowden is most well-known in Moscow and St. Petersburg (78%). Thirty two percent of the polled learned his name in the course of the opinion poll. In the first place this applies to people in other cities with populations over one million.
Russians are split almost evenly over the issue of granting asylum to Snowden – 41% welcomed that step, and 38% disproved of it. The supporters of this decision are mostly in Moscow and St. Petersburg (49%). Also, they are highly educated respondents (44%). Their opponents are mostly people resident in other Russian cities and Russians with low education levels (49%).
WCIOM held the opinion poll on July 6-7 at its own initiative. It questioned 1,600 men and women of age in 130 cities and communities of Russia’s 42 constituent territories. The error margin was no greater than 3.4%.