After the arrest of prominent Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny upon his return from medical treatment in Germany, Russia is once again rocked by mass protests. According to activist group OVD-Info, more than 3,000 people were arrested in at least 109 cities on Saturday. Navalny was allegedly poisoned by Russian state agents on a domestic flight to Moscow in August.
According to the Levada Center, an independent public opinion research organization, the willingness to join mass protest has increased in Russia over the years. According to survey responses, Russians were nearly twice as likely to protest in 2018, 2019 and 2020 than they were in 2017 and almost four times as likely than they were in 2014.
Protest intention took a jump up in 2018, after mass protests against corruption had started in early 2017. While at the same time, protests against raising the pension age were organized by the country’s second-largest party, the Communist Party, the anti-corruption marches were also led by Navalny, who is the leader of opposition party “Russia of the Future” and the head of the NGO “Anti-Corruption Foundation”.
This chart shows the share of Russians who said it was likely they would participate in a public mass protest (2014-2020).
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