Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#27 - JRL 2007-55 - JRL Home
Nearly Half Of Russians Consider Khodorkovsky No Political Prisoner - Poll

MOSCOW. March 6 (Interfax) - Nearly half of Russians - 49% - do not consider Mikhail Khodorkovsky a political prisoner, while a quarter hold the opposite view, according to a poll of 1,600 Russians conducted by the Levada Center in 128 communities in 46 regions of Russia in mid- February.

As many as 45% are against releasing Khodorkovsky on parole, 19% believe he should be freed after he has served four years in prison, and 36% found it difficult to formulate their position on the issue.

Over half of the respondents - 51% - are aware that the Prosecutor General's Office has brought new charges against Khodorkovsky, but 40% were unaware of the reasons.

In the view of 29% of those polled, this was done in view of newly discovered facts related to his financial crimes, 13% believe the authorities want to deprive him of the chance to be released on parole in 2007, 11% think this was done to stop Khodorkovsky from laying claim on the property he has been deprived of, and 7% are sure that this was done to obstruct the consideration of the Khodorkovsky case at the Strasbourg Court.

The poll showed that 40% believe the executive authorities are putting pressure on the investigative agencies in the Yukos case, 22% believe the investigative agencies are acting on their own, and 38% were undecided.

The poll also showed that 18% of Russians sympathize with Khodorkovsky, and 63% do not.