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Putin’s public approval rating hits five-year record high - poll

More than 75% of respondents support president's policy

MOSCOW, March 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rating has hit a five-year record high, according to a survey conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (WCIOM) on March 15-16.

The survey, published on Thursday, showed that 75.7% of 1,600 respondents in 130 Russian towns and cities approved of their leader’s policy.

“A difficult political situation in Ukraine and the preparation for a referendum in Crimea drove Putin’s approval rating to such a high level,” sociologists said. “63% said these were the main events of the past week. Another 32% of the respondents voiced their approval following the triumph of Russia’s Paralympic team at the Winter Games in Sochi.”

The pollster says Putin’s public approval rating has grown by 11.4% over the past month and by 15.1% since January 1, 2014. The president’s approval rating has also significantly jumped among residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg over the past months and reached 71.3%, the highest attained over the course of the last five years.

By tradition, residents of Russia’s two major cities have given their lowest assessment to Putin’s work over the past three years.

Sociologists say the president’s approval rating has stood at 60% and higher on average over the past two years. It reached its maximum in May 2012 (68.8%) and in early March (71.6%).

The poll’s statistical error does not exceed 3.4%.