Press release №1477
12.09.2012
PUSSY RIOT SENTENCE AND RUSSIAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM

IN BRIEF

  • 39% of Russians kept track of the trial over Pussy Riot
  • Half of those who kept track of the process say that the court was independent (49%)
  • Those who oppose them say there was a pressure of authorities on the court
  • After the sentence was announced, most Russians did not change their attitudes towards Russian judiciary system (75%).

According to the relative majority of Russians who kept track of the trial over the Pussy Riot punk band, the court acted independently and was not influenced by any external pressure. The sentence did not change the public attitudes towards Russian judiciary system.

MOSCOW, September 12, 2012. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data describing whether Russians kept track of the Pussy Riot trial; how they assess the actions of the court; whether their attitudes towards Russian judiciary system changed after the sentence was announced.

The overwhelming majority of Russians are aware of the action of the band Pussy Riot in the Christ the Savior Cathedral (86%). Thirty-nine percent of Russians kept track of the trial in a varying degree. Those who were interested most are Russians with high level of education (10%) and metropolitan residents (15%). Neither the action in the Christ the Savior Cathedral, nor the trial attracted the attention of respodnents with elementary or incomplete secondary education (32%), residents of big cities (21%), and youth (17%).

A relative majority of Russians who kept track of the trial over the Pussy Riot band are confident that the final decision of the court was independent (49%). They are basically elderly respondents (54%), and believers (51-52%). The share of those who think that there was a pressure on the court is 32%. As a rule, they are younger than 45 (37%) and atheists (47%). According to Russians, the source of pressure could be authorities and politicians in general (31%), church (20%), society in general (13%), president (8%), or government (6%).

One-third part of Russians stably approve of the work of the Russian court system: since May 2012 the level of approval has made up 34%. After the sentencing in August, the level of approval of the court system made up 34% - exactly the same as it was before.

Most Russians who know about the Pussy Riot action did not change their attitudes towards Russian judiciary system after the sentencing (75%). Twenty-one percent of Russians mentioned changes; the share of those whose attitudes have improved and the share of those whose attitudes have worsened are almost equal (10 and 11, respectively). The attitudes towards Russian court system have improved among respondents younger than 45 (11-13%) and Russians with low level of education (15%). On the contrary, the attitudes towards Russian court system worsened among young and middle-aged Russians (13-15%), those who have high level of education (13%), and atheists (16%).

The initiative Russian opinion polls were conducted on September 1-2, 2012. 1600 respondents were interviewed at 138 sampling points in 46 regions of Russia. The margin of error does not exceed 3.4%.

Did you personally keep track of the trial over the Pussy Riot punk band, or not? (close-ended question, one answer)
  Total respondents Aged 18-24 Aged 25-34 Aged 35-44 Aged 45-59 Aged 60 and above
I kept track of the trial attentively 8 7 5 6 9 11
I kept track of the process from time to time; but I know about the trial only in general 31 33 28 33 33 29
I did not keep track of the trial but I know about the Pussy Riot action 47 42 53 50 47 44
I hear for the first time about this action and trial 13 17 12 10 11 15
Hard to tell 1 1 2 0 0 2
In your opinion, did the court act independently or under pressure during the Pussy Riot process? (close-ended question, one answer, % of those who kept track of the process)
The court acted independently 49
The court acted under the pressure 32
Hard to tell 19
If you believe that the court acted under the pressure, who or what influenced its actions? (open-ended question, any number of answers, % of those who kept track of the process and think that the court acted under the pressure)
Power, state, politicians 31
Church 20
People, public opinion 13
President 8
Government 6
Mass media 3
Opposition 2
Administration of president 2
West 2
United Russia 1
Judges 1
lawyers 1
Ministry of Internal Affairs 1
Other 5
There was some pressure, but it is hard to tell what kind of pressure 24
Do you generally approve/disapprove of the performance of the Russian judiciary system? (close-ended question, one answer)  
  VIII.11 IX.11 X.11 XI.11 XII.11 I.12 II.12 III.12 IV.12 V.12 VI.12 VII.12 VIII.12
Approve 29 24 26 28 26 29 29 31 31 34 34 34 34
Disapprove 45 47 44 41 45 43 46 48 48 42 44 43 43
Hard to tell 27 30 30 31 29 27 26 22 21 24 22 23 22
Did you change your attitudes towards Russian judiciary system after the sentence was announced? If yes, how? (close-ended question, one answer, % of those who know about the Pussy Riot action)
  Total respondents Orthodox believers Believers of other religions Non-believers,  those who are fluctuating between belief and disbelief
Yes, changed for the better 10 10 5 10
Yes, changed for the worse 11 10 15 16
No, not changed 75 75 75 70
Hard to tell 4 4 5 3
 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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