Many want 'skinheads' banned, poll finds

Two-thirds of Russians who know what the term 'skinheads' refers to (one-third of the total polled) think the movement should be banned. The poll of a representative sample of 1,500 individuals was conducted on March 6 by Public Opinion. The poll found that 42% of Russians say they have never heard the term, despite its use in the media. Among respondents, 29% said they know what skinheads are and 26% said they had heard something about skinheads. Younger people were more familiar with the term (42% of those polled between the ages of 18 and 35) as were people with higher education (53%) and Muscovites (64%). Among those acquainted with the term, three-fourths (or 39% of the total) were negative toward skinheads; 3% were positive, and one out of every six (or 9% of the total) characterized their attitudes as indifferent. Of those polled, 12% saw no need to ban skinheads. This view was most common (20%) among young respondents and those with high incomes (19%).

Approximately 16% of those polled said there were skinheads in their localities. For those in large cities, this figure was 24%; for megapolises, not including the capital, it was 25%; and among Muscovites it was 39%. Some 9% of Russians said they had seen skinhead leaflets and booklets in public places, according to the findings, with the results for Moscow considerably higher (23%). Among those polled, 21% of those who said they had some idea of what skinhead means expressed the belief that the group is protected by the authorities. Almost the same percentage (20%) said they do not believe that.

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