MOSCOW, September 16 (RIA Novosti) – Almost half of all Russians, 44 percent, agree with opposition leader Alexei Navalny that the ruling United Russia party is made up of “crooks and thieves,” a recent opinion poll showed Monday, a significant increase from two years ago.
Navalny, an anti-corruption activist who finished second in Moscow’s recent mayoral election, coined the derogatory moniker in a radio interview in February 2011. Later that year, United Russia won parliamentary elections marred with allegations of fraud that evoked a wave of protests.
An April 2011 survey by the same pollster, the respected independent Levada Center, showed that about 30 percent of Russians considered the “crooks and thieves” moniker to be an accurate depiction of the party’s membership.
In April 2013, some 51 percent of respondents agreed with the slogan, another Levada poll showed, a rise from 38 percent in September 2012. In June this year, almost half of Russians (47 percent) said United Russia was the Kremlin’s “puppet party.”
Senior United Russia official Vladimir Vasilev said in January that his party had managed to defeat the disparaging label through an extensive parliamentary campaign to publicly reveal the incomes and business interests of lawmakers.
He said the campaign, in collaboration with the powerful Investigative Committee and the state prosecutor’s office, had been instrumental in what he called a reversal of the party’s image.
The Levada poll whose results were released Monday was conducted on August 23 to 26 among 1,601 people across 45 Russian regions. Its statistical margin of error did not exceed 3.4 percent, the pollster said in a statement.
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- gunshipdemocracy454 of 1600 is 704. Is enough to say what 144mlnd of Russian think. For US sponsored NGO of course.21:53, 16/09/2013Russian govt is baad. Let me guess Levada would confirm that Yeltsin govt and 90s were best time for Russia and govt was crystal clear. AS Berezovsky and other criminal Khodorkovsky.
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Some people are trying to make the reality in Russia at least a bit more humane. The amnesty should apply not only to persons involved in high-profile cases, but also to individuals who are not as well-known. It is better to set free at least some of the individuals who deserve to be released than no one at all.