Russia’s Trust In Vladimir Putin Has Declined Precipitously, Says New Poll

Kremlin.ru/CC BY 4.0

Changes to the people's pension savings have fueled a sharp drop in support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian support for President Vladimir Putin has soured in recent months, according to recent polling, and analysts say it is due in large part to the government’s handling of pensions.

Via The Guardian:

> In a poll by the independent Levada Centre, 39% of Russians listed Putin as a politican they trust. That is a 20% decrease from November 2017, when Putin was named by 59% of Russians, according to the same polling agency.

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> The Levada polls are the latest to show a strong backlash as the Kremlin pushes unpopular social reforms to relieve pressure on the budget. This month, 45% of Russians told FOM (Public Opinion Foundation), a polling agency close to the Kremlin, they would vote for Putin if elections were held this Sunday. That rating was down from 67% at the beginning of the year.

The United Russia Party, currently in power and closely aligned with Putin, is experiencing a drop in support as well. FOM revealed that support for the party dropped nearly 20 percent from the beginning of the year to just 31 percent.

> “People think that the state is trying to solve its problems at the expense of the population,” Lev Gudkov, the head of Levada, told Vedomosti, a Russian business newspaper. “It’s encroaching on something the people consider their own – their pensions savings.”

Changes to pensions, which include raising the retirement age for men and women to 65 and 60, respectively, were signed into law last week.

> Putin built political support in the 2000s mainly through a reputation for economic growth and stability after a post-Soviet transition that was financially ruinous for many. As Russia’s economy has stalled in the past half-decade, support for Putin has become more closely associated with Russia’s geopolitical stance as a bulwark to western influence. Support for Putin waned after mass protests in Moscow in 2011, but jumped when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, portrayed domestically as a return to Russia’s great power status.

Read the full report here.

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