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Poll: Russians aren't unanimous about Magnitsky bill

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Dec. 8, 2012, 9:31 a.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

Russians tend to support the Magnitsky Act endorsed by the U.S. Senate but the majority is still hesitant.
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Russians tend to support the Magnitsky Act endorsed by the U.S. Senate but the majority is still hesitant, Levada-Center told Interfax in comment on a poll held in 45 regions on November 23-26.

Some 39% of the respondents generally supported the initiative of U.S. lawmakers to bar Russian officials related to the death of Hermitage Capital's Sergei Magnitsky and violations of human rights from visiting the United States, and 14% opposed it. Forty-eight percent could not answer the question.

There is no unanimous answer to the question who was guilty of Magnitsky's death.

Twelve percent blamed "high-ranking officials fearing disclosures of Magnitsky" (the indicator stood at 14% in August 2011). The same number blamed "detectives accused by Magnitsky of stealing budget money" (18% a year ago).

Nine percent pointed to the inhumane conditions at Russian detention facilities, and 10% accused doctors of negligence.

Only 5% said there was no one to blame for the death of Magnitsky, which was "a tragic coincidence."

Nineteen percent were hesitant, and 33% did not know about Magnitsky's death at all.

Well-to-do respondents blamed officials (30%) and detectives (20%) more than other categories of respondents. Muscovites accused doctors (23%) and bad custody conditions (14%).

Muscovites (45%) and residents of big cities (46%) speak positively of the Magnitsky Act.

The U.S. Senate approved the Magnitsky Act linked with the cancellation of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment on Thursday.

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