Following a winter of discontent Russians express an increased appetite for political freedom, and at the same time strongly endorse Vladimir Putin.
Compared with just a few years ago, more Russians believe that voting gives people like themselves an opportunity to express their opinion about the country’s governance, more feel that it is important to be able to openly criticize the government, and greater numbers see freedom of the press and honest elections as very important.
Consistent with the value placed on core democratic principles, a solid majority (64%) see attending protests as an opportunity to speak out about how the government is run, and more than half (56%) specifically approve of the mass demonstrations that followed the December 2011 parliamentary vote, which was marred by fraud allegations. In that regard, while a modest 56%-majority says they are satisfied with the outcome of the March 4, 2012 presidential election, just 47% believe that election was fair.
Read the full report, Russians Back Protests, Political Freedoms and Putin, Too, on the Pew Global Attitudes Project website.