Putin’s approval rating among Russians improves to close to 80% thanks to Ukraine war

Russia’s president managed to reach this week an approval rating of 80 percent, according to a survey conducted this Friday, where he maintains a confidence on the part of the Russian citizenry similar to the one he obtained after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. However, it falls short of the levels of 2015, with the start of the Russian intervention in Syria, when Putin enjoyed an 88 percent approval rating among his compatriots. While it is true that three years later he suffered a resounding fall in the midst of Russia’s hosting of the World Cup in 2018.

The survey, conducted by the Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM), has indicated that support for the president would have increased by 13.5 points since February 20, four days before the start of the war in Ukraine, when he had a 67.2 percent approval rating.

Russians would thus be backing Putin’s stance during the invasion of Ukraine, despite the criticism and sanctions the Kremlin has received from the international community, just as happened in 2014 after the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea, when the Russian president increased eight points in approval in a few weeks.

On the other hand, as many as 64.4 percent of the participants in the 2022 poll – to which 600 respondents from at least 80 regions of the Russian Federation contributed – were positive about the performance of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

The leader of the strongest opponent of United Russia – the party to which Putin belongs – Guennadi Ziuganov, who heads the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), does not get a pass mark, with only 34.2 percent of Russians approving of his work.

During the first months of the pandemic, the Russian president reached 73.9 percent popularity, although for ten months he has remained below 70 percent. Likewise, in 2008 Putin reached 85 percent support, the highest support figure he has ever achieved, according to the Lavender Center, responsible for the 2014 poll.

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