Levada Centre decides to do without foreign funding

posted 1 Jun 2013, 14:54 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 1 Jun 2013, 14:58 ]
30 May 2013 

Source: HRO.org (info)
The Levada Centre, Russia’s only independent pollster, is to cease receiving foreign funding, the head of the organization’s department for development Denis Volkov said in an interview with Vedomosti. The Levada Centre took this decision after prosecutors demanded in mid-May that it should register as a ‘foreign agent.’ 

Denis Volkov explained that foreign funding had made up part of the financing for two of the Centre’s projects: studying civil society and the protest movement; and also research into the moods and political preferences of Muscovites. The decision to refuse foreign funding means that both projects have been stopped.

In order to gather funds for the above two projects, an electronic account will be opened at Yandex.Money. The electronic account will be registered in the name of Denis Volkov to prevent money being transferred by tax non-residents and other possible attempts to discredit the fundraising effort. The Levada Centre promises to publicly report on the receipt and use of sums via the electronic account.

The approximate budget of a project consisting of two surveys is 670,000 roubles, including tax. According to Denis Volkov, two surveys are planned, each of a sample of up to 1,000 people, in June and in September.

According to experts, while it should be possible to collect such a sum of money for one particular project, it is unlikely that a complete substitution of foreign grants by such a means of collecting funds could be achieved.