Approval for Navalny’s activities declines after ‘extremism’ ruling

As of late June 2021, just 14 percent of Russians approve of Alexey Navalny’s activities, down from 20 percent in September 2020. The opposition politician’s disapproval rating also grew from 50 percent to 62 percent over the same period, according to the results of a new survey from the independent Levada Center.

What’s more, 32 percent of respondents support the decision to recognize Navalny’s organizations as “extremist.” Another 27 percent disapprove of this decision and 38 percent are indifferent to it.

Opposition to the “extremism” designation is highest among people between the ages of 18–24 (33 percent) and 25–39 (32 percent), while support for it is highest among people aged 55 and older (45 percent).

Among those who support Russian President Vladimir Putin, 40 percent are in favor of the decision to ban Navalny’s organizations, while 20 percent are opposed. This ratio was practically the opposite among Putin’s opponents: only 16 percent support the decision, while 42 percent do not. 

The Levada Center survey was conducted from June 24 to 30. The researchers conducted in-person interviews with 1,630 people over the age of 18, living in 137 settlements across 50 Russian regions. 

On June 9, the Moscow City Court sided with local prosecutors and designated Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation, and national network of campaign offices as “extremist organizations.” This terminated his team’s activities effective immediately. 

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