Putin’s Trust Rating Falls to New Low Amid Far East Protests

Russians’ trust in President Vladimir Putin fell to a new low in July as tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in anti-Kremlin protests in the Far East, according to newly published results from the independent Levada Center pollster.

Only 23% of respondents named Putin when asked to identify which politicians they trust the most, the Levada Center said Wednesday.

That figure is less than half of what it was in November 2017, when 59% of Russian respondents named Putin as the politician they trust the most, and three percentage points lower than it was last month.

Putin’s approval rating remained steady at 60%.

Levada conducted its survey among 1,617 Russian respondents between July 24-25.

Unprecedented mass protests in the Far East region of Khabarovsk broke out this month after the arrest of its popular governor Sergei Furgal and his replacement with a Putin-appointed lawmaker from an outside region.

In another poll released this week, the Levada Center said nearly half of Russians approve of the anti-Kremlin protests in Khabarovsk.

Putin’s Approval Rating Returns to Pre-Coronavirus Levels

President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has jumped to one of its highest levels since the start of the year as Russia continues its steady recovery from the coronavirus outbreak, the independent Levada Center polling agency said Wednesday.

At 66% in August, Putin’s approval rating went up by six percentage points in a month and almost reached the high 60s in January and February, according to Levada’s results. The share of Russians who approve of Putin hit a historic low of 59% at the height of the pandemic in April and May before slightly improving to 60% in June and July.

“There’s overall relief that the uncertainty is over and the payments have come through,” Levada sociologist Denis Volkov told Bloomberg, referring to the government’s coronavirus-related assistance to certain segments of the population.

“But it’s hard to say if it will continue rising in the coming months — a lot will depend on the economy,” Volkov said.

Leavada conducted its monthly survey among 1,601 Russian respondents between Aug. 20-26.

Thirty-three percent of its respondents this month said they disapproved of Putin’s work, a figure that has remained relatively stable this year.

Other government institutions have also seen a bump in approval, including a 10-point jump for Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

For the first time since February, a majority of Levada’s respondents in August said they believe the country is on the right course.

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