The Russian city of Yekaterinburg has called off plans to build a cathedral in a public for the politically-powerful Orthodox Church after a public backlash that got the attention of President Vladimir Putin.

It was Putin who say the growing protests in Russia's fourth-largest city and suggested that officials commission a poll to find out if people even wanted the cathedral.  The VTsIOM poll found 58 percent did not want St Catherine's Cathedral in the park.  Only 18 percent wanted the project to continue.

The Orthodox Church claims it needs new land to build churches to replace the ones it claims were destroyed during the Soviet Era, which ended almost thirty years ago.  One opposition to the park project grew, the church alleged that the protests "could only have been organised by people driven by anti-religious motives".  

Church officials tried meeting with protesters, but demonstrations grew in size and intensity - a pretty rare event in Russia - until thousands filled the park last weekend.  That's when Putin intervened, callin for the telephone survey.