The article is based on a poll undertaken by Levada-Center in February, 2013. It discusses the new “public demand” in the sphere of Russian politics. The poll found that a plurality of Russian society (38 per cent), when asked about a desirable path for development of political systemб chose ‘democracy of European type’. The ‘status quo’ associated with political course of Vladimir Putin appeared preferable to 24 per cent, while the remainder of the sample was almost equally divided between advocates of a ‘strong-hand” regime and Soviettype socialism. The divides between these “imagined futures” crosscut traditional party electorates. While the notions of “democracy” or “stability” are not explicated, at least two conclusions are sufficiently substantiated. First, that the popularity of “Putin’s stability” is giving way to a demand for a more open and pluralistic political system. and second, as the cluster analysis showed, the support base of Putin’s power is far from being monolithic: it consists of a nucleus of dedicated supporters flanked by two cohorts of conditional supporters, one, concentrated on more openness and sound social policy, the other, authoritarian inclined. The article also discusses ambivalences of the public attitudes towards collective action and civil society, as well as the perceptions of two types of new legislation introduced in 2012: laws tightening regulation of collective actions and civil society, and laws constituting reform of the political system.