Putin tops popularity rating with almost 50 percent support, latest poll shows
Russian President Vladimir Putin remains the most trusted Russian politician, though his trust rating decreased by about 7 percent in the month following the March 18 presidential election.
According to a poll conducted by the Russian state-run public opinion research center VTSIOM in mid-April, the number of people who trust Vladimir Putin in making crucial decisions for the nation is 48.4 percent, down from 55.3 percent on March 17.
Researchers noted that the rating started falling almost immediately after the election: on March 25 it was 53.6 percent, on April 1 it dropped to 51.3 percent, and by April 8, it was 49.3 percent.
However, the VTSIOM general director described the trend as perfectly normal. He explained that people in Russia as well as other countries usually feel more involved in the political process when election campaigns are in full swing, and lose interest in politics afterwards. The agencys experts also noted that the ratings drop coincided with a string of negative events, like the tragic fire in the Kemerovo shopping mall, protests against landfills in Moscow Region, and new sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and its allies.
Other leaders of the public trust ratings are Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu (17.2 percent), and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (17.4 percent). For both politicians, these figures are slightly lower than those registered in mid-March.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was fourth on the list with 14.7 percent.
A poll conducted by the independent public opinion research center Levada at the end of March showed that 81 percent of Russians approve of Vladimir Putins work as president, up from 76 percent in February. Those who approve of Dmitry Medvedevs work as prime minister increased from 39 to 44 percent.
Another poll released by VTSIOM in early April showed that 45 percent of Russians expect significant changes in the country in the year following the recent election. Forty-eight percent said they did not anticipate any major changes in the next 12 months, while 7 percent could not answer the question.
Of those who think that Russia will face major changes in the near future, 87 percent expect that these changes will be for the better, while only 9 percent believe the opposite.