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Putin’s rating growth caused by successful Olympics and tough position on Ukraine

March 13, 2014, 14:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian expert Konstantin Simonov shares his view on the causes of Vladimir Putin's current popularity

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MOSCOW, March 13,  /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rating growth is caused by successful Winter Olympics in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi and Russia’s tough position on Ukraine, head of the chair of applied political studies of the Financial University under Russian government Konstantin Simonov told Itar-Tass on Thursday commenting on results of the latest sociological survey conducted by All-Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (WCIOM).

“We witness that Putin’s rating has grown several weeks ago and I believe that successful Winter Olympics caused this tendency. Then Putin’s opponents fuelled up the issue of possible failure of the Olympics over unfinished construction sites, but everything turned out to be very good and the rating started growing despite of this,” he noted.

In the view of Simonov, Russia’s tough position on Ukrainian crisis also added scores to the Russian presidential rating.

“Now we see that the figure surpassed 70 percent and this latest growth is certainly linked with Vladimir Putin’s position on Ukrainian issue and the situation over the country. This means that at least two thirds of Russian residents support what Putin is doing. People support Russia’s harsh position on this problem and a desire to restore historical justice,” he added. Simonov noted that Russian presidential rating has been growing thanks to the fact that “Russia showed hard line position in Ukrainian issue and showed itself as an important player on geopolitical scene which it is needed to count,” he added.

“I believe that after a Crimean referendum Putin’s rating will easily exceed 75%,” the expert did not rule out.

Putin’s rating is at its highest in the last few years, results of a sociological survey conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Centre (WCIOM) made public on Thursday suggested.

According to sociologists, the rating of approval of presidential activity reached its highest of 71.6% for the last few years. Meanwhile, WCIOM experts noted that Russians have praised highly Vladimir Putin’s work already for a few weeks, as the rating of approval of Russian presidential activity has gone up 9.7% since mid-February.

WCIOM experts also noted that Russians had approved the presidential work at a level of more than 60% in the last few years. The previous highest presidential electoral rating was reported in May 2012 (68.8%) right after Putin’s presidential inauguration, they recalled.

WCIOM has conducted an all-Russia survey on March 8-9, 2014. As many as 1,600 people from 130 Russian settlements participated in the survey. Its margin of error does not exceed 3.4%.

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