MOSCOW, August 24 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s independent pollster Levada Centre published popularity ratings of President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. According to the August survey, Russians’ confidence in their leaders that started to decline in May continues its track: the president and the prime minister have lost six and seven points respectively. Nevertheless, experts do not consider this trend threatening.
According to the pollster, 63 percent of Russian citizens approve Putin’s actions, while 57 percent – Medvedev’s deeds, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported. However, the share of those dissatisfied with the president’s policy increased from 30 percent to 35 percent since May, while that with Medvedev’s – from 35 percent to 41 percent. The electorate’s antipathy to the government grows in the same proportion. More than half of those polled (52 percent) responded negatively to the question, whether they approve the Cabinet’s actions. Now 41 percent of the respondents as against 33 percent last spring expressed confidence that the country has been moving along the wrong track.
It is worth noting that to the question who should be elected Russia’s next president in six years, 22 percent of those polled chose Vladimir Putin, 7 percent – Dmitry Medvedev, while 49 percent preferred a third variant saying “in six years other person should replace Putin on the presidential seat.” Another 22 percent of the respondents found it difficult to answer, the Kommersant business daily reported. Last March the number of those, who wanted to see “another person” as Russia’s president in six years, made up 43 percent.
When citizens have no option, being asked whether they “vote for” or “vote against”, people most probably say “vote for”, the daily quoted Levada Centre deputy head Alexei Grazhdankin as saying. Nevertheless, the ratings demonstrate that “the effects of the election campaign, hopes for a better future that emerge during the campaign, are over.” Moreover, this decline is more obvious after July, when “Krymsk (flood-stricken town in southern Russia) allowed to raise Putin’s rating.”
This shows that the population is tired of Vladimir Putin, political scientist Mikhail Vinogradov said. “In six years he will be already eighteen years in power and everybody realizes that this tiredness will be even bigger,” said Alexei Grazhdankin. However, the current president can “take these figures easy until any alternative to him appears on the horizon,” Vinogradov said.