First off, some context. Russia has been on a blazing path to “Russify” and Christianize the country in the regions where that applies. (Muslims comprise about 14% of Russia’s population and Islam’s relationship with polygamy is generally more open and fluid.) The actions associated with this endeavor include extremely draconian anti-LGBT laws that restrict any form of “propaganda.” And in a Russia that continues to consolidate power at the top, the definition of “propaganda” becomes – conveniently for the authorities – much broader.
Polygamy is another social issue that is illegal in Russia, as it is in many Christian-dominated states, though many advocate the legalization of it, including recently assassinated Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov.
A recent state-sponsored poll by VTsIOM, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, shows that 87 percent of Russians opposed polygamy – a four-percent increase since the last time a polygamy poll was taken in 1999.
Only 10 percent said they supported polygamy, though respondents are more lenient about the adoption of polygamy in Russia’s Muslim regions. 33 percent support Muslims being in polygamous relationships compared to 70 percent int he previous survey.
By comparison, a 2014 Gallup poll shows 14 percent of Americans accepting of polygamy, compared to five percent in 2006. Within the poll, polygamy is lumped into the “highly unacceptable” group, opposed by 70 percent of Americans. Clearly Russians are reading the Manifesto more intently than los estadounidenses are. Clearly.
Bear in mind that VTsIOM has been accused numerous times of being a puppet of the Kremlin. But even though Putin could very well wish to show strong Russian unity for the continued prohibition of polygamy – and skew results accordingly – this is also a lower-rung issue, so there’s minimal reason to meddle.
Read more, including details about 17-year-old Chechen brides(!), at The Moscow Times.