Elections in Russia: Polling and Perspectives

September 14, 2011
02:00 pm - 03:30 pm

Elections in Russia: Poling and Perspectives – Denis Volkov from National Endowment for Democracy on Vimeo.


Denis Volkov – Yuri Levada Center

Panel Discussion:
Angela Stent – Georgetown University
Vladimir Kara-Murza – Solidarnost (“Solidarity”)
David Satter – Hudson Institute 

Nadia M. Diuk
National Endowment for Democracy

Mr. Denis Volkov presented recent data from polls conducted by the Levada Center, Russia’s most highly regarded independent polling organization.Topics included:

  • Mood of the electorate in the run up to the Duma and presidential elections
  • Perceptions of candidates and parties
  • Voter confidence in the system of “managed democracy” that has been established over the last decade.

The Levada Center’s research on nationalist incidents such as the Manezh riots of December 2010 and the challenges faced by Russia’s civil society was also discussed.

A panel of distinguished experts commented on the polling and offered their own views and analysis of Russia’s political trajectory.


Denis Volkov earned his M.A. in Political Science from the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and Manchester University, and has attended post-graduate programs at Stanford University and Philadelphia University. Mr. Volkov currently serves as a researcher and head of PR and Development at the Yuri Levada Center, a Moscow-based independent analytical center. Mr. Volkov is a regular commentator on socio-political issues in Russia and his work is often featured in Novaya Gazeta, Gazeta.ru, and Ezhednevny Zhurnal. Mr. Volkov’s current research includes work on the sources and limits of democratization in Russia, youth political engagement, and digital media and socio-political change in Russia.

Angela Stent is Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University. From 2004-2006 she served as National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council. Among her numerous publications are Russia and Germany Reborn: Unification, the Soviet Collapse and The New Europe (Princeton, 1999) and Restoration and Revolution in Putin’s Foreign Policy (2008).

Vladimir Kara-Murza is a member of the federal council of Solidarnost (“Solidarity”), Russia’s democratic opposition movement. He has served as campaign chairman for presidential candidate Vladimir Bukovsky (2007–08) and advisor to Duma opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Kara-Murza was a candidate for the Russian parliament in the 2003 elections, representing the Union of Right Forces and Yabloko parties. He is the author of Reform or Revolution: The Quest for Responsible Government in the First Russian State Duma (Moscow 2011) and a contributor to Russia’s Choices: The Duma Elections and After (London 2003) and Russian Liberalism: Ideas and People (Moscow 2007). He is the Washington bureau chief of RTVi television.

David Satter is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He has written three books about Russia: It Was a Long Time Ago and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past (Yale, 2011); Age of Delirium: the Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union (Knopf, 1996; paperback, Yale 2001); and Darkness at Dawn: the Rise of the Russian Criminal State (Yale 2003).