Russians Losing Trust in Opposition Leaders

MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – Russians are losing trust in non-parliamentary opposition forces and their leaders, according to a survey conducted by the independent Levada Center pollster and published on Tuesday.

When asked to name the most trustworthy person from a list of 11 opposition leaders, 65 percent of respondents said they trusted none of them (up eight percentage points since April 2011), while 20 percent said they found it hard to answer.

A major figure in the anti-Kremlin movement, former Duma deputy Gennady Gudkov, and former chess champion Garry Kasparov were the most popular figures on the list, receiving the support of three percent of respondents each.

Solidarity movement co-chairman Ilya Yashin, the co-chairman of the People’s Freedom Party (Parnas) Vladimir Ryzhkov and opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny gained two percent each.

Other names on the list – Parnas co-chairman Boris Nemtsov, former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, the unregistered Other Russia opposition party leader Eduard Limonov, Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov, as well as nationalist leaders Alexander Belov and Dmitry Dyomushkin – scored one percent or less.

The survey involved 1,601 respondents from 130 cities and towns in 45 Russian regions, with a margin of error not exceeding 3.4 percent.

Russia’s anti-Kremlin opposition has held a series of mass street protests in Moscow and other cities following the disputed parliamentary elections of December 2011 and March 2012 presidential poll. While the movement initially drew thousands in the largest popular protests in Russia in the last 20 years, the opposition has since struggled to draw large numbers of supporters to street demonstrations.

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