While only six percent of Russians say they have seen ‘gay propaganda’, 86 percent support a ban, the state-owned media agency RIA Novosti reports.

State-run polling company VTsIOM spoke to 1,600 respondents across the country.

96 percent of rural Russians asked had never seen ‘gay propaganda’, but that figure dropped to 85 percent in Moscow and St Petersburg.

Television accounted for 57 percent of instances, the report said, though it is not clear what definition of ‘gay propaganda’ was used.

RIA Novosti said: “Eight percent spoke of a ubiquitous ‘cult of homosexuality’”.

An overwhelming majority, 86 percent, across Russia supported the idea of a ban on the promotion of gay relationships, while just six percent disagreed with the idea.

St Petersburg’s city legislature approved a bill banning the promotion of homosexuality to minors earlier this year. It was signed into law by the governor in March.

In a statement by G8 leaders last week, Russia rejected the language of gay and trans people’s human rights “given the absence of any explicit definition or provision relating to such a group or such persons as separate rights holders under international human rights law.”

Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said that “under the pretext of protecting the so-called sexual minorities, in effect there’s aggressive propaganda and the imposition of certain behavior and values that may insult the majority of the society.”