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
#2 - JRL 9166 - JRL Home
Only 4% of Russians think Khodorkovsky is innocent

MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - Only 4% of Russian people believe that former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky is not guilty at all, Russia's Public Opinion Center says.

Dmitry Polikanov, the deputy director general of the center, told the Mayak radio station that 26% of the pollees said the sentence on the Khodorkovsky case was absolutely adequate, and 11% found the sentence too soft. Eight percent of respondents said the former Yukos chief was guilty but the sentence was too tough.

The majority of Russians, 53%, have no clear opinion of the Khodorkovsky case. A total of 25% said they did not follow the trial, and another 28% found it difficult to answer the question.

According to Polikanov, the reason is that most Russian people have other, more earthly problems to solve such as the rate of inflation, higher tariffs for utilities - something that directly concerns their families. This is why they did not pay much attention to the trial.

Polikanov said that according to the previous survey, most Russians think the main point in a democratic process is the equality of all people in the eyes of the law.

Moreover, "a popular opinion in Russia is that privatization [in the 1990s] was unfair."

"According to opinion polls, most Russians tend to see the Yukos case as having a positive effect as the first step towards law and order, in particular, in the economy," said Polikanov.