Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 13:30:15
20 September 2018

  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.

Closing the Polls?

Author: The Editors

Nov/Dec 2016
Note Book
Page 7   ( 1 pages)

Summary: Polling agency Levada has been tagged as foreign agent. What does that mean?


In 2003, sociologists at the Levada Center, an independent public opinion research organization that has been producing polling data since the perestroika era, survived a hostile takeover. More recently they have been accused of inflating President Vladimir Putin’s approval ratings, which topped 80 percent following the annexation of Crimea.

But that apparently was not enough to save them. In early September, Russia’s justice ministry added the Levada Center to its ever growing register of “foreign agents” – organizations that ostensibly carry out political activities while receiving funds from abroad. The decision effectively bars the group from dealing with state institutions and creates a public image of them as mercenaries paid by foreign powers to undermine Russian state security.

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