December 11, 2015 3:00 PM, EST

Most Moscow Residents Support Protest by Truckers, Survey Says

Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters
Moscow residents are broadly supportive of protests by longhaul truckers over a new toll system in Russia, the Levada Center said.

A third of people polled in Russia’s capital definitely support the protest, while 38% said they were probably in agreement, the polling company said Dec. 10 in a website statement. Thirteen percent were probably or definitely opposed, and 12% said they don’t care.

Truck drivers who protested by slowing traffic outside the city throughout November also briefly blocked several lanes of the Moscow Ring Road on Dec. 4. Last week, lawmakers cut the fine for not having a tracking system to 5,000 rubles ($70) from 450,000 rubles, Interfax reported. (See earlier story.)

Almost half of the 1,000 people polled Dec. 4-8 had heard about the protests from federal television or radio, according to Levada. Twenty-six percent read about it on the Internet, and 22% were told about the demonstration by friends or relatives. The poll had a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points.

The Platon toll system began in November to charge truckers by the kilometer for use of the federal highway network. It is run by a company part-owned by Igor Rotenberg, son of Arkady Rotenberg, a billionaire ally of President Vladimir Putin. Arkady Rotenberg has been sanctioned by the United States and the European Union. All money collected by the RT-Invest Transportation Systems is transferred directly to the Federal Highway Fund, according to the company’s press service.