InoPressa. Putin is so «strong» that closes the mouth of «Levada-Center»

What do Russians think about the aggressive foreign policy of the Kremlin? What they like Putin? Why do they want the West trembled before them? «The mass consciousness is at a primitive level, and the government is doing everything to Russia was formed simplified the image itself,» conclude sociologists of Russia’s only independent polling centre. Now the stigma of «foreign agent» makes his job impossible.

«In an open society the public opinion polls the required to establish the relationship between rulers and ruled, writes The Washington Post. Polls say the powers that be the truth. Much harder to do this in a closed society where people are afraid to say what they have in mind. In recent years, the Russian President is gradually eliminated liberal media and eliminate the public organization, however, the «Levada-Center» has managed to survive and stay independent social organization. His studies of Russian public opinion was insightful, and it explains why he now threatened suffocation».

«The reckoning «foreign agents» can be a death sentence for «Levada-Center», — said in an editorial. «Since Soviet times, most Russians feared that «foreign agent» is a spy or a saboteur,» said center Director Lev Gudkov in an interview with Bloomberg News.

«Like all bullies, Putin is under a vain delusion that he is a beloved leader and can not do wrong. Surveys Gudkov showed that not everything went smoothly in Putin’s Kingdom. «Levada-Center» helped the Russians to tell the truth, and therefore he is now told to close his mouth,» the newspaper said.

The head of «Levada-Center» Lev Gudkov gave an interview to Der Spiegel.

The Russian Ministry of justice has recently made an independent «Levada-Center» in the list of organizations referred to as «foreign agents», the newspaper reminds. «I don’t think that this is the Kremlin. It security services — they are conservative and tuned nationalist. They argue that the West is a threat that is constantly spreading fear. Mode paranoid — he fears a revolution here in Russia,» — says Gudkov.

«Under political activities is now understood by all: until the public opinion polls or statements in the media and at seminars. I lament and grieve at the same time, Gudkov says, » but actions against us, reflects in some sense the state of Russian society. It is evidence of a return to the political past».

«Levada-the Center» accused of receiving funds from the American University of Wisconsin and the German society for international cooperation (GIZ). «We have been working with foreign universities, with the University of Wisconsin — more than 12 years. The authorities indicate that the University receives support from scientific organizations, which, for its part, is funded by the U.S. Department of defense. As for GIZ, we conducted a study on the urban middle class,» — says Gudkov.

Today, I’m sure the sociologist, the Russian opposition has no chance — «she just doesn’t have enough money. «The opposition is poorly organized, its leaders harassed or discredited. They work against a powerful propaganda machine. Almost all media is controlled by the Kremlin, through them no opportunity to Express any protest.»

According to Gudkov, the voter turnout in the elections this year will be low — about 40-44%. «Part of the population, are unhappy with the present situation, the elections will not come. President Putin has managed to create an atmosphere of apathy. I call it the phenomenon of «acquired helplessness». The feeling that nothing can change and that politics — a dirty business».

The high rating of President Putin, Gudkov explains that «after the annexation of Crimea and to intensify state propaganda Putin is a national leader, defending the interests of Russia. In the state of the Russian economy he is not guilty, and others: Prime Minister Medvedev, the government, the state Duma».

Gudkov says, the stigma of «foreign agent» does the job «Levada-Center» is impossible. He plans to file a lawsuit against the decision of the Ministry of justice. The chances for a positive decision are almost there, he understands.

An employee of the «Levada-Center» Natalya Sharp in an interview with Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeigerсказала that the popularity of President Putin is obliged to the absence in Russia of a strong civil society and a primitive mass consciousness of Russians.

«Putin’s approval rating at 80% is a symbol of the destruction of civil society and the revival of a paternalistic attitude to the state. Repressive policy in recent years has killed all the prerequisites for a strong society. Public groups which could obtain influence and authority, NGOs, human rights defenders and so on — had been marginalized,» says Keen. «As a result, the bulk of the population lives with the feeling that anything, it can not affect», and «in a certain sense it is true».

The sociologist notes that the high ratings there are only Putin, not other authorities. According to recent reports, the rating of «United Russia» also fell significantly, from 39 to 31% in August. The assumption that because of the publication of these data «Levada-Center» was in the list of «foreign agents» Sharp questioning: «I don’t think there is a direct link».

On the question of the popularity of the Russians annexation of Crimea, she said: «According to our research, only about 7% of inhabitants of Russia have rejected it as illegal.»

«The mass consciousness is at a primitive level, and the government is doing everything to Russia was formed simplified the image itself. Is the goal of all policy. Consolidation of the society after the annexation of Crimea worked on the basis of the same primitive mechanisms, which rallied the Soviet society: this idea of Russia as a superpower, the West as an enemy and indifference to how we live, if only the West would tremble before us!» says the sociologist.

Why Russian like war of Vladimir Putin? — is the title of an article by The Washington Post.

«Between Russia and Ukraine rising again tension. Russia has deployed 40 thousand troops on the Ukrainian border. President Putin warned a full-scale invasion,» — writes the American political scientists Erik Nisbet (Ohio state University) and Elizabeth Stoycheff (Wayne state University).

«What Russians think about the aggressive foreign policy of his government? Could our government to do something to affect the attitudes of the Russian public?» — the authors ask. This is the Central point of their recent studies.

«We wondered whether to change Russian public opinion on foreign policy, if the public are familiar with independent information about its consequences,» the authors write.

«In our study participated 1349 Russian Internet users in March 2014 — in the midst of the Crimean conflict. Participants randomly were divided into two groups,» write the authors.

«Before one group raised a number of questions that induce respondents thinking about the warlike considerations in foreign policy, usually occurring in the Russian media. Another group of questions were raised so that prompted participants to think about economic, diplomatic and military costs of intervention in the Crimea», — stated in the article.

Then, the participants were asked questions about their support of Russia’s intervention in Crimea, as far as they support the Putin government and how important to them the national identity. Respondents also reported how often they use Russian and Western media.

Support of Russian intervention in Ukraine has significantly decreased among those participants who were asked to think about the costs, the researchers write.

Familiarity with Western media have reduced support for Russian foreign policy, while more frequent use of Russian media promoted her, say the authors.

It gives public diplomacy to counter Russian disinformation? Nisbet and Stoycheff recommend US, EU and NATO are two of the «strategy of the message», which could manipulate the beliefs of the Russians.»

In General, the authors are convinced that diplomats and sociologists «is able to influence Russian public opinion and increase its resistance to manipulation by the government of Putin.»

«Donald trump’s struck a wave of justified criticism for the fact that he sings the praises of Vladimir Putin, the Russian dictator, the anti-American», writes in The Los Angeles Times Max boot, senior fellow Council on Foreign Relations (USA). Last week, trump said that Putin «has a very powerful control over the country. (…) Definitely it is the leader, in a much greater degree than our President is a leader».

The Russians welcomed Putin’s actions, since his propaganda apparatus they inspire one-sided view of the world, the author notes.

«Therefore, allegations by trump that Putin’s rating of 82%, and therefore it must be a good leader, so ridiculous. It is, of course, popular, no no alternatives is not allowed,» notes Booth. Human Rights Watch notes that «the persecution of the Kremlin on civil society, the media and the Internet has taken a sinister turn in 2015: the government has strengthened its harassment and persecution of independent critics. For the fourth consecutive year the Parliament adopts laws and the relevant authorities carry out repressive practices.» Anyone who dares to openly criticize Putin, runs the risk of ending up in prison, exile or in the grave, the article says.

«Afraid that trump sees Putin as a leader who should be admired. It’s a shame trump’s supporters rushed to justify his views, which have no justification,» the author concludes.

Translation InoPressa

InoPressa. Putin is so «strong» that closes the mouth of «Levada-Center» 14.09.2016

Сентябрь 14th, 2016 by
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