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Russians’ trust in Putin sinks to new low

Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg. (The Kremlin/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Public trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin has fallen to its lowest level in 13 years, according to a Russian state pollster.

The poll, published on May 24 by the Public Opinion Research Center, found that trust in Putin had fallen to 31.7 percent, its lowest level since 2006.

Putin’s overall approval rating, which is different from his trust rating, is still high at 65.8 percent.

Putin has suffered a slide in his ratings since he won reelection in 2018 amid public dismay over falling household incomes and unpopular government moves to raise the retirement age and hike the value added tax.

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Putin’s trust rating hit a high of 71 percent in July 2015 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea the previous year.

On the eve of last year’s presidential election, it stood at 55.3 percent. Since then, public trust in him has dropped sharply, falling to 38.3 percent three months later, ending 2018 at 36.5 percent.