Press-releases, Publications

Navalny’s poisoning

Most Russians (78%) are aware of poisoning of Alexey Navalny, although less than 20% follow the developments. Interviewees name three main versions of the occurred event: 30% consider it to be staged by the politician himself, 19% think of it as a provocation of foreign special services, 15% speak of the government’s attempt to eliminate the political opponent.

61% of Russians have heard at least something about Navalny’s poisoning, 17% are closely monitoring the situation. Yet, the numbers have not changed through last several months. The Internet users tend to be the most informed.

Are you aware of Alexey Navalny’s poisoning in August 2020?

 Sep.20Dec.20
I monitor the situation closely1817
I have heard something about it5961
I have not heard about it2220
It is difficult to say12

The interviewees name three main versions of the occurred event. Most often, they speak of the poisoning being staged by the politician himself. 19% consider it the foreign special services provocation, and 15% speak of the government’s attempt to eliminate the political opponent. Meanwhile, those who monitor the situation closely mostly support the opinion of Navalny being poisoned by the Russian government.

The view of the event also depends on the interviewees’ age, the way of getting informed and attitude towards the government. Thus, the representatives of older age groups, who receive news from the television and trust it, and are the supporters of the current government mostly see the event as the Western staging and provocation. The youth, active Internet users and opposition much more often tend to blame the Russian government.

There are multiple versions of what happened to Alexey Navalny, which of them seems to you the most plausible? (as %% of those, who have heard of the poisoning)

There was no poisoning, all of it was staged30
It is a provocation of the Western special services19
It is the government’s attempt to eliminate the political opponent15
It is a personal revenge of one of Navalny’s investigations subject.7
It is the internal struggle within the opposition6
Health problems, accidental poisoning, common intoxication1
Other4
It is difficult to answer19

This survey was conducted December 21–23, 2020, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1617 people aged 18 or older. The survey was conducted as a telephone interview (CATI) on a random sample (RDD) of personal phone numbers and landlines. The answer distribution is below 2.4%. The data for September were collected by survey conducted September 25–30, 2020, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1605 people aged 18 or older in 137 municipalities of 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the total number of respondents.

The ANO Levada Center has been included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents. Read the Director of the Levada Center’s statement of disagreement with this decision here.