Third of Russians Approve of Anti-Putin Camp Closure

Almost third of Russians approve of the closure of the Occupy-style camp at Moscow’s downtown Chistoprudny Boulevard where people were protesting against Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency, a poll held by the Public Opinion Foundation has revealed.

On May 15, a Moscow district court ordered the closure of the camp at Chistoprudny Boulevard, accusing activists of littering and destroying the greenery in the area. Police and the district prefecture were ordered to “end” the opposition activities.

A third of those polled – 29 percent, approved of the closure, nine percent condemned it, five percent called measures taken by Russian officials contradicting the principles of democracy.

The poll was conducted on May 19-20 among 1,500 respondents in 43 regions of Russia.

Opposition activists pitched a camp near the monument to Kazakh poet Abai Qunanbaiuli, also known as Abai Kunanbaev, on May 9 after two days of police crackdowns on protesters gathering on various squares in Moscow. The camp adopted the ironic slogan OccupyAbai, also a popular Twitter hash tag.

Organizers attempted to maintain discipline in the camp, cleaning litter and prohibiting alcohol. The camp was intended to stay in place until June 12, the Russia Day holiday when the opposition plans a new mass rally in Moscow.

Riot police dismantled the camp on early morning, briefly detaining over 20 people. Activists decided to continue with the protests and moved to Kudrinskaya Square next to a landmark neo-classical Stalin-era tower a short walk from the U.S. embassy.


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