Media-Foreign Agents

A third of Russians (34%) have heard in some way about the recognition of Meduza*, TV Rain* and others as foreign agents – 15% know about it, 19% – have heard of it. Two-thirds (65%) have not heard anything about it. 

Respondents aged 55 and older are most informed on this issue: 39% have at least heard about the recognition of media as foreign agents. Respondents aged 25-39 are the least informed – 28%. 

Followers of Telegram channels know about the recognition of media as foreign agents than others – 58%. The least aware of this are those who prefer television as the main source of information: 30%.

11% of Russians have positive feelings about the recognition of these media as foreign agents, 19% have negative feelings and 66% are indifferent.

Among those who know about the recognition of media as foreign agents, a third (34%) approve of this measure, 42% – disapprove. Among those who first heard about it the numbers are 6% and 12%, respectively.

Since July 2021 the number of Russians believing that the aim of the law on “foreign agents” is to put pressure on independent public organizations has increased: from 40% to 45%. The share of those who believe that the aim of the law is to protect the country from the negative influence of the West has not changed: 37% and 36%, respectively. 

Among those who heard about the law “on foreign agents” in 2016, more than half (56%) believed that its meaning was to protect Russia from the negative influence of the West, 26% – to put pressure on independent public organizations in the country. In 2021, the corresponding figures were 43% and 48%.

Meduza and TV Rain / Dozhd are recognized as media performing the functions of a foreign agent on the territory of the Russian Federation. 


This survey was conducted October 21 – 27 2021, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample consisted of 1636 people aged 18 or older in 137 municipalities of 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the total number of participants along with data from previous surveys.

The statistical error of these studies for a sample of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed:

3.4% for indicators around 50%

2.9% for indicators around 25%/75%

2.0% for indicators around 10%/90%

1.5% for indicators around 5%/95%

The ANO Levada Center has been included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents.



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