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Poll Reveals Nearly Half of Russians Believe Not Living in Democracy

Kremlin and Red SquareMOSCOW. Nov 12 (Interfax) - A nationwide poll conducted last month by the independent Levada Center reveals that 47% of Russians do not believe the country operates as a democratic country.

34% of respondents said it does and 19% were unsure.

Meanwhile, 39% believe the country is advancing along the road to democracy, 16% the existent of anarchy, 13% the rise of autocracy and dictatorship and 10% the revival of the Soviet order.

45% of Russians understand democracy to primarily mean the protection of civil liberties such as right to life, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. 31% see it as the responsibility of the authorities to voters and 27% equality and fairness.

Others regard as features of democracy the ability of the public to influence the authorities and economic prosperity (23%), the separation of powers and the wellbeing of the population (20% each), democratic elections/political competition (18%) and social security (17%).

The poll also indicated that Russians have become more apathetic. It shows that today 32% are interested in politics, down from 44% in 2007. Today 64% of Russians show no interest in politics whatsoever with Muscovites the least interested.

The poll was conducted on October 22-25 in 44 territories across Russia.

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