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One-third of Russians say ethnicity should be factor in choosing leaders

MOSCOW, July 27 (JTA) — Some three-quarters of Russians believe that all citizens regardless of their ethnicity should enjoy equal rights, according to a recent poll. But one-third also believe that a person’s ethnic background should be taken into account when an individual is elected or appointed to powerful positions, according to the survey conducted earlier this month by the Public Opinion Foundation, a leading polling firm in Russia. Fifty-six percent of the respondents believe that ethnicity should not be taken into account in such an election or appointment, while 9 percent found it difficult to answer. In other results, 78 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that all young Russians should have free access to education; 16 percent maintained that only ethnic Russians should enjoy this right. Twenty-two percent agreed that ethnic supremacy theories should be allowed to disseminate freely in society, while 59 percent said the dissemination of such ideas should be punishable and 19 percent found it difficult to answer. No margin of error for the poll was reported.