Yekaterinburg, May 16, Interfax - The Yekaterinburg administration wants to hold an opinion poll regarding the construction of a church in Oktyabrskaya Square amid the protests of city residents, Deputy Mayor Yekaterina Kuzemka told Interfax.
"We will conduct an opinion poll. I know that regional authorities have plans to hold their opinion poll with the Socium Foundation. However, protesting public members will not take any of them as legitimate. Many non-governmental organizations are addressing us and are ready to be the initiators of a mass independent poll. This is a very good initiative, and we are not against it," Kuzemka said.
Opinion polls regarding the site for building a church were held on numerous occasions earlier, she said. "Their results reveal that the majority of city residents have an indifferent attitude toward it, some of them protest against the church, and quite a substantial number back it," Kuzemka said.
A church should unite people, not divide them and in this connection "both sides need to take certain steps for this issue to be resolved in the interests of all those who actually live there," Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a media forum of the All-Russia People's Front in reply to a participant's request for comment on the church's construction.
Mass unauthorized protests against building St. Catherine Church in Oktyabrskaya Square in downtown Yekaterinburg, where the square is situated, have been held in Yekaterinburg since May 13. Dozens of protesters have been detained; 102 protocols have been drawn up against 98 people, over the last three days the protests have been taking place. Twenty-one people were arrested for a term of two to ten days.