New data released yesterday in Moscow has found that just 5% of Russians do not view homosexuality as morally unacceptable.

The Levada-Centre, a well-respected polling organisation, held a poll last year and found that negative attitudes to gay people are on the increase.

Last year just 47% of people condemned LGB people.

In December’s poll 84% of respondents said they find homosexuality morally unacceptable reports Kommersant.com.

Experts said that the rise of xenophobia in Russia is an important factor, as well as the level of publicity surrounding banned gay rights marches in the country.

The resurgence of religion, previously banned under Communist rule, has also led to a newfound hatred of gay people.

Under President Putin, Russia has become increasingly aggressive toward foreign influences in the country, while other politicians have spoken out against gay rights.

The Mayor of Moscow, who has banned gay rights marches in the city in 2006 and 2007 and spoken of his hatred for gay and lesbian people on many occasions, has been publicly backed by the President.

Russia decriminalised homosexuality in 1993 and while there are a few gay clubs opening in large cities, there are no high-profile openly gay politicians or business leaders.