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Putin Closes Down The Only Real Polling Agency In Russia After Popularity Dip

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Russia’s Justice Ministry labeled the only independent polling agency a “foreign agent” Tuesday, after its polls showed a dip in support for Putin’s ruling party ‘United Russia.’

The Justice Ministry justified its move in a statement saying “the major part of financial support the Levada Center has received is from the U.S., including the University of Wisconsin in Madison.”

The labeling comes just two weeks before major parliamentary elections in Russia. The persecution of the polling group “began after we have demonstrated a drop in popularity of the United Russia,” Lev Ghudkov, chairman of the polling group, told Russian media.

Ghudkov released a poll Thursday showing an 8 percent drop in popularity for United Russia. The Justice Ministry’s label came Tuesday. – READ MORE

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