As Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's public approval rating plummeted in July to its lowest level in six years, a group of young women stripped to their bras on Pushkin Square on Friday to show their support for Putin to return as president.
Putin's rating fell 1 percent to 68 percent, while President Dmitry Medvedev's stayed at 66 percent, unchanged from June at its lowest level since the start of his presidency, according to the poll by independent Levada Center and posted on its web site Friday.
The poll was carried out between July 15 and 19 and surveyed 1,600 people in 130 towns and cities across the country. It had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.
Putin saw rating highs of 79 percent in December and 80 percent in May 2010.
Putin has not said whether he will run in next year's presidential election, but 20 women, who had pink flowers in their hair, jumped around Pushkin Square before removing white T-shirts showing a rose-colored portrait of him.
"We want to see him as our president in the future. We want to support him by using all possible means and this is one of them," said Inna, a member of "Putin's Army," a new movement that urges women to show support for Putin by removing their clothes.
"Putin! Putin! Putin!" the women screamed to a small crowd of men who stopped to watch them.
A day earlier, bikini-clad students washed cars for free at Moscow State University, advertising the service by using a play on words involving Putin's initials.