Putin Critic Navalny’s Rating Jumps Among Protesters, Poll Shows

The most popular leader among Russian opposition protesters is anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, whose rating has jumped this year as mass street demonstrations against President Vladimir Putin continued.

Navalny, a lawyer who was elected to the board of state-controlled OAO Aeroflot this week, is preferred by 46 percent of those who joined the protests, up from 18 percent in February, according to a poll published today by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion. Left-leaning politician Sergei Udaltsov is second with a 26 percent popularity rating.

Tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets of Moscow and other cities to protest the results of parliamentary elections in December and Putin’s return to the Kremlin in March after four years as prime minister. Investigators have questioned Navalny and Udaltsov in connection with charges of inciting mass disturbances and violence against officials on May 6, when a protest ended in clashes with police.

The state-run pollster, known as VTsIOM, conducted the survey of 531 people at the most recent Moscow rally on June 12. No margin of error was given.

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