Putin's approval rating hits new historic high of almost 90%
The approval rating of President Vladimir Putin is now higher than ever at 89.9 percent and pollsters say the fresh surge in the Russian leader’s popularity is due to the successful anti-terrorist operation in Syria.
“Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has set a new record at 89.9 percent refreshing the previous maximum set in June 2015 when it’s average monthly value was 89.1 percent,” reads the release of the VTSIOM all-Russian public opinion research center circulated on Thursday.
The VTSIOM experts also wrote in their message that the high levels of approval of Putin’s work must be linked with recent events in Syria, where the Russian Air Force is conducting a successful campaign against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).
In the same poll 26 percent of Russians said the Syrian airstrikes were the most important events of the past week. Other developments that the Russian public deemed as important were various sports events and the continuing crisis in Ukraine.
Putin’s approval rating first exceeded 80 percent about 18 months ago, after the accession of the Crimean Republic into the Russian Federation. Its average in March 2014 was 76.2, in April it was already 82.2 and in May it was 86.2.
In late June 2015, independent pollster the Levada Center reported that according to their data the share of Russians who are happy with Vladimir Putin’s work as president had reached 89 percent. Sixty-four percent think the current policies of the Russian authorities are correct – also the highest in history. The proportion of Russians who expressed dissatisfaction with Putin’s work was 10 percent.
In early October, Levada Center released the results of the poll that showed that 72 percent of Russians were positive about the airstrikes on IS positions in Syria. Fourteen percent were negative toward the operation, while the same share of people said they had no opinion on the subject.
In addition, 47 percent of respondents said that Russia should support Syrian President Bashar Assad in his fight against both Islamic State and the armed opposition. Twenty-eight percent said that it would be better for Russia to stay out of the Syrian conflict, while 8 percent said Russia should join the Western coalition and begin fighting against IS and the Syrian government.