Analytical center of Yuri Levada (“Levada-center”) filed a complaint with the Zamoskvoretskiy court of Moscow on the decision of the Ministry of justice of Russia about inclusion in the list of “foreign agents”. It is reported TASS with reference to Director of the organization Lev Gudkov.
“Complaint filed in court. We will appeal against the order of the Ministry of justice on inclusion of our organization in the registry of “foreign agents”. We do not believe that he was engaged in political activities. Our activities are scientific, we are not biased by anyone, and it will be the main argument in court,” – said Gudkov.
The Ministry of justice recognized the “Levada-Center”, “noagenda” 5 Sep. The decision was made after an unscheduled inspection of the documents of the organization, which was organized at the request of the movement “Intimidad”. According to RBC, the reason for this decision were the statements of the organization’s Director Lev Gudkov about the”mafia of power” in Russia and cite the results of opinion polls in the foreign press.
Director of the “Levada-Center”, doctor of philosophy Lev Gudkov, commenting on the inclusion in the list of “foreign agents”, stated that the practice of the Ministry of justice and other agencies, restricting scientific communication of Russian scientists with the international scientific community, will lead to the degradation of Russia and turn it into a “reservation poor and aggressive people.”
According to Gudkov, the inclusion of “Levada-Center” in the list of “foreign agents” – a hostile campaign to discredit the independent research team, which will make it impossible to conduct social surveys, as in the phrase “foreign agent” is perceived as a synonym for “spy” and “diversionist” and in several regions the employees of state institutions are not allowed to communicate with “foreign agents”.
Association of market researchers and public opinion (oirom), which includes the leading sociological services of the country, made an open letter in support of the “Levada-Center”. The document, signed by the head of the all-Russia centre of studying of public opinion (VTSIOM) Valery Fedorov and the head of Fund “Public opinion” (FOM) Alexander Oslon, expressed concern. Their signatures under the letter were put by heads “TNS Gallup Media”, MASMI, “GFK-Rus”, “MAGRAM Market research”, “Niccolo M”, “MarketSense”, and other social services.
As stated in the appeal oirom, sociological research is scientific, not political activity. Such data objectively reflect the socio-political views, not form them, the authors of the letter. According to colleagues, “Levada-Center” has a reputation as a “credible, independent source of information”, he is recognized by the scientific community in the country and abroad. The situation around the “Levada-Center” can have a negative impact on the international image of the country, believe the authors of the letter.
According to the law, which came into force on 21 November 2012, financed from abroad political NGOs must register as “foreign agents.” In 2013, the Ministry of justice received the right to recognize NGOs “registered as foreign agents” at its own discretion.