Irony. Post-Crimea Putin can drop 10 points and still be far more popular than any three western politicians put together
As they say there are two sides to every story.
Research released by the independent Russian pollster Levada suggests 73% of Russians "fully trust" or "trust" their president and 14% "mostly do not trust" him.
Levada's research last time this year meanwhile indicated 83% of Russians "trusted" or "fully trusted" Putin, but that 14% did not trust him.
So you could either say that Putin enjoys a very high confidence rating, and he enjoyed an even higher one last year.
Or you could say that Putin's rating has dropped 10% since last year, albeit it remains at a very high level indeed (it is actually up from 2013).
No rewards for guessing from which end the western regime and mainstream outlets approached it:
- Radio Free Europe: Vladimir Putin's Trust Rating Drops 10 Percent
- The Washington Post: Russia’s remarkable trust in Putin has been shaken, poll finds
In adopting such a narrow timeframe they commit precisely the interpretation error Levada itself warns against:
"I would not interpret the data only in comparison with the last year, but would consider it in the context of all surveys conducted over the last 15-16 years,” Grazhdankin [the deputy head of the Levada Center] told RBTH.
“Over the last three years we documented a surge of confidence and affection for the president due to the events of the ‘Crimean Spring.’ Now, this effect is mitigated and the trust rating is coming down to its previous level. However, it still remains above the recorded minimum approval rating for the president."
The more informative context: Putin is still riding the Crimean reunification popularity spike, albeit 2 years after the even this is no longer as pronounced.
Oh and by the way. Three weeks ago the same pollster said the portion of Russians who want Putin to extend his time in the Kremlin is actually rising. Reuters:
Another Levada poll, conducted last month, suggested more Russians were ready to re-elect Putin now than a year ago, despite his falling trust rating.
That poll said 65 percent of Russians said they wanted to see Putin re-elected as president, up from 57 percent in the same polling series the year before.