Press release №1434
16.04.2012
PUSSY RIOT HOOLIGANS: TO BE IMPRISONED, FINED OR RELEASED?

IN BRIEF

  • 71% of Russians know about the Pussy Riot action at Moscow`s Christ the Savior Cathedral
  • Most of Russians consider this action to be hooliganism
  • Correctional work is the best punishment, according to Russians.

The Pussy Riot action at Christ the Savior Cathedral is considered to be hooliganism or sacrilege; 13% regard it to be political protest. Only 7% of respondents believe that the girls should not be punished. And only 10% of respondents say that the participants of the band should be imprisoned.

MOSCOW, April 16, 2012. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data describing how Russians assess the Pussy Riot punk prayer, as well as how the girls should be punished.

The action of Pussy Riot punk band attracted the attention of most of Russians (71%): 36% are well informed about that, 35% - know about it in general. Those who were most impressed by this action are Muscovites and St.Petersburgians (77%), Russians of pre-retirement and retirement age (73-76%), and Orthodox followers (74%). The share of Russians who knew for the first time about this action is 29%: they are basically rural area residents (35%) and Muslim followers (44%).

The so called punk prayer was considered as hooliganism (46%). Those who think so are Orthodox Christians (48%) and Muslims (51%), as well as atheists (48%). This stance is also shared by supporters of United Russia party (51%). Every fifth considers this action as sacrilege (21%): mainly supporters of Fair Russia party (28%). Rarer it is considered as political protest (13%): those who think so are mainly atheists (18%) and LDPR supporters (20%).   Ten percent of respondents think it is a PR action: they are mainly followers of other religions (25%) and LDPR supporters (22%).    The share of those who think the Pussy Riot action should be considered extremist (4%) or performance (1%) is small.

The relative majority of Russians think the girl should be sentenced to hard labor (32%). Those who think so are Orthodox Christians (33%) and those who think the action was hooliganism (38%).

The overwhelming majority of Russians (20%) believe that the girls should only pay a fine; those who think so are non-believers (30%) and those who think that the punk prayer was a political protest (33%).

Ten percent of respondents think the girls should be imprisoned – they are those who think the action was sacrilege (21%). The same share of respondents believes that the girls should be arrested for 15 days: those who think so are Muslims (15%).  Other 5% believe that the Pussy Riot band should only get a suspended sentence.  Eight percent of Russians believe that public condemnation is enough for them; they are basically those who think that the action is a PR action (13%). Only 2% insist that the girls should be anathematized.

7% believe that there should not be any punishment at all; they are basically the followers of other religions (14%) and those who believe that the punk prayer is a political protest (20%).

The initiative Russian opinion polls were conducted March 31 - April 1, 2012. 1600 respondents were interviewed at 138 sampling points in 46 regions of Russia. The margin of error does not exceed 3.4%.

Do you know/did you hear/do you hear for the first time about the action of the Pussy Riot punk band called “Holy Virgin, take Putin away!” that took place at Moscow`s Christ the Savior Cathedral? (close-ended question, one answer)
Total respondents Aged 18-24 Aged 25-34 Aged 35-44 Aged 45-59 Aged 60 and above
I am well informed 36 33 32 36 37 39
I heard something but I do not know the details 35 32 34 34 39 34
I hear for the first time 29 35 33 30 23 26
Hard to tell 1   1 0 1 1
The action was ambiguously assessed by public. Some call it hooliganism, others – political protest or modern art. Which of the statements is closer to you? (close-ended question, one answer)
Total respondents Orthodox Christians Muslims Followers of other religions Non-believers/hesitating between belief and disbelief
Hooliganism 46 46 51 39 48
Sacrilege, insulting religious sanctities 21 22 20 10 15
Political protest   13 12 15 8 18
PR action, attempt to become famous, to attract attention   10 10 8 25 12
Extremism, incitement of hatred and hostility towards Orthodox Christians and priests   4 5 4 3  0
Modern art, performance, creative self-realization 1 1 0 5 1
Other 1 1   2 2
Hard to tell 4 4 3 7 4
In your opinion, should the participants of the Pussy Riot band be punished? If yes, how?  (close-ended question, one answer)
Total respondents Orthodox Christians Muslims Followers of other religions Non-believers/hesitating between belief and disbelief
Hard labor 32 33 28 27 27
Fine 20 19 19 17 30
Prison sentence 10 11 9 3 6
15 days of arrest 9 8 15 10 7
Public condemnation 8 8 11 12 7
They should not be punished 7 7 6 14 6
Suspended sentence 5 6 4   6
Anathematized 2 2 1 7 4
Other 2 2 1 8 1
Hard to tell 5 5 6 2 7

Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory!

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