Policy Memos

The Passive Majority in Russian Politics: Can Quality Beat Quantity?

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Reacting to the events in Moscow of May 6, 2012, when opposition protests led to massive clashes with the police for the first time, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the protesters as “marginal personalities” who were far outnumbered by those demonstrating in support of President Vladimir Putin. This assessment is widely shared by Russians loyal to the regime, both officials and ordinary people. At a superficial glance, it is also corroborated by polling data. These show support for Putin at levels above 60 percent, while opposition meetings are approved of by about a quarter of voters, with less than 10 percent ready to take part in street actions themselves. [...]

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About the author

Professor, EU–Russia Studies
University of Tartu, Estonia