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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Apathy rates high in poll

Muscovites long for law and order, but shun responsibility for implementing such stability, a recent poll has found.

Just 3 percent of 1, 000 Moscow residents polled on July 16 consider participation in the political process important, down from 15 percent in 1989, according to the Sociology of Parliamentarism Institute, an independent polling agency.

"Before, they thought that improving their lives depended on their actions; now they've lost their sense of hope", said Nugzar Betaneli, the institute's director. "All the people think that someone else should control the situation".

In addition, only 22 percent of those questioned said they considered free speech very important, the survey found, down from 51 percent in 1989 when Mikhail Gorbachev championed glasnost as one of the foundations of his political program.

Over a quarter of Muscovites questioned said they would trade some democratic freedoms for more order and economic prosperity.

"This is a change, not because of a simple change in thought, but because of the worsening economy", he said in an interview.

Low turnout in vote

The joys of democracy are already wearing thin for residents of the Dmitrovsky district, an hour's drive from Moscow.

So few local residents turned up to vote for a new people's deputy in a special July 16 election that they wilt have to try again in the future.

Only about 30 percent of local residents cast their vote for one of the 12 candidates on the multiparty ballot, far short of the 50 percent minimum Russia requires for elections.

-A. T.