Leading sociological services stated that the ratings of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev went down to the level of December 2011, when massive protest actions were rolling throughput the country. The experts link this fact with high-profile corruption scandals, and the Kremlin noted that “the rating is subject to fluctuations.”
Last November the sociologists conducted actually synchronous surveys: the Levada Centre on November 23-26, the Public Opinion Fund (FOM) on November 24–25, the Kommersant daily reported. The results of both sociological surveys showed that by late November the level of trust to the top officials dropped to the lowest level in the previous year.
According to the FOM sociological results, 41% of respondents trust Vladimir Putin, 24% of pollsters do not trust him (30% trust him partially). In December 2011 the share of people not trusting the president also reached 24%, the level of Putin’s definite support was higher – 45% (the percentage of undecided pollsters – 28%). 35% of respondents trust Dmitry Medvedev now, 27% of pollsters do not trust him (in December 2011 there were 38% and 25% of them, respectively).
The Levada Centre sociological surveys showed the similar results, the newspaper reported. For the past month the number of those who approve of the work of President Vladimir Putin went down from 67% to 63% and the work of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev from 61% to 54%. The personal rating also dropped: among 5-6 politicians, which people trust most of all, 34% trust Putin now (39% a month ago), 20% trust Dmitry Medvedev (24%). The only state official, whose rating went up in November (from 11% to 16%) is Sergei Shoigu, who was appointed as defence minister after Anatoly Serdyukov was fired from the post.
A source in the Russian presidential administration told the Kommersant daily that Putin’s rating remains at the same level already for a long time, but “the rating is a thing that is subject to fluctuations,” this is also linked with the agenda of the president. The source noted that the presidential rating went up sharply over the anti-corruption actions against the Defence Ministry, and now the rating got back to its average level.
FOM head Alexander Oslon believes that Putin’s domination “was, is and will remain in force”, but “any meaningful conclusions cannot be drawn” from the fluctuations of the ratings, because they can have a simple explanation that “the weather is getting worse.”
Levada Centre head Lev Gudkov told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily that , according to the sociological centre, the overall reduction in the trust to the authorities lasts at least for two years, “The current trend just slowed down a little bit during the presidential election campaign. A weaker confidence of people that the Russian leadership can ensure the economic growth, and subsequently a higher life level of the Russian population caused this tendency.” The rating is not everything, the expert noted. The changes in the minds of Russians are obvious in the scope of indicators. More and more pessimistic expectations, growing feelings of the lack of confidence and fear, irritation from a weaker social policy are characteristic for these moods. Each month the Levada Centre fixes falling incomes of a greater part of the Russian population.