The survey, conducted by Levada, also revealed that 19 percent of respondents believe that Western intelligence agencies are responsible for the poisoning – four percent more than blame the Kremlin. Last week, President Vladimir Putin linked the activist to foreign states, specifically claiming he works alongside US special services.
The results come after a fortnight of twists and turns in the Navalny case, with the opposition figure naming eight Federal Security Service (FSB) agents he believes are responsible for being part of an operation to murder him. The long-time Moscow protest leader also published a phone call with a man he said was part of the FSB team, who appeared to confess to his role in the supposed plot.
Of the other common answers, seven percent blamed the poisoning on “personal revenge” by someone implicated in one of Navalny’s many corruption investigations, and another six percent blamed a struggle within the Russian opposition.
Opinions about the alleged poisoning were strongly split along age group lines, with 40 percent of over-55s believing it was faked, compared to just nine percent of 18-24s. Those below 25 were much more likely to blame the Russian authorities (34%).
The survey also revealed that almost a fifth of respondents hadn’t ever heard about the case, with 17 percent noting they are following it very closely.
Named for its founder, the late Yuri Levada, the Levada Center polling company has often been accused of liberal bias. In 2016, the pollsters were accused of “performing the functions of a foreign agent” by Russian authorities, and the center has admitted to receiving Western funding in the past.
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