Ratings, Protests, and Elections: Russia Opens 2012–2013 Political Season 4 September 2012
Vladimir Kara Murza
Following the traditional summer lull, Russia is entering a new political season. According to recent polls by the independent Levada Center, 42 percent of Russians express their support for the protesters who have been coming to the streets since December to demand free elections and democratic reforms. Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin’s favorability rating has fallen from 80 percent in 2008 to 48 percent today. The coming weeks will offer Russian citizens an opportunity to express their discontent both on the streets and (however imperfectly) at the ballot box....
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