Russia President Vladimir Putin has drawn increased international attention for his alleged involvement in the United States presidential election, his military buzzing NATO airspace and potentially expanding bases abroad, and the back-and-forth with the U.S. over how best to deal with the Syrian civil war. But a new poll reportedly shows his regime's work to expand the superpower’s presence around the world has been for naught when it comes to the Russian people.
Only 26 percent of Russians trust their government, a huge drop from 45 percent last year, and only 22 percent have faith in the Duma, Russia’s assembly, Independent pollster Levada Center reported Thursday, according to The Moscow Times.
Putin, 64, and now in his second stint as president, also saw his approval and trust rating dive. The poll showed 74 percent of Russians trust Putin, but that’s down from 80 percent a year ago.
The drop holds more weight, considering how highly Russians praised Putin despite economic woes worsened by Western sanctions after Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. A study published by Pew Research Center in June 2015 showed that Russians approved of Putin’s handling of relations with China (90 percent), the U.S (85 percent), the Ukraine (83 percent) and energy policy (73 percent), even though nearly three-quarters of those polled felt the economy was “bad.”
The Levada Center’s latest poll follows its findings from March, which also reflected a decline in Putin’s popularity. Those results gleaned from the responses of 1,600 people, showed a decline from 83 percent to 73 percent, according to Time. Distrust of Putin also climbed from 14 percent to 19 percent.
At the time, 22 percent approved of Putin’s foreign policies and a February poll showed 65 percent of the country wanted Putin to run again in 2018.