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Fewer Russians Back Putin, Poll Says

Putin's face has featured prominently on opposition banners and posters calling for fair elections and new leadership. Denis Sinyakov

Russians are increasingly disillusioned with President Vladimir Putin and are less willing to back him, a new poll released Monday shows.

Seventeen percent of respondents in the Levada Center poll said they were disenchanted with Putin's rule, a 6 percent rise from 2010, Vedomosti reported.

Another 17 percent said they only support Putin because there's no alternative, while 14 percent don't support him at all and 7 percent held out some hope for future improvement.

Levada Center pollsters also found that fewer people entirely share Putin's views.

Whereas that figure was 22 percent in 2010, this year it reached 15 percent. Twenty-six percent were willing to back Putin if he carried out sweeping democratic and market reforms, a drop from 30 percent two years ago.

But despite falling support for Putin, poll respondents were split on the future fate of the country.

About 44 percent called themselves optimists, believing that in the next six years people's quality of life will improve and Russia will become one of the 10 most developed countries in the world.

Roughly 40 percent had a pessimistic outlook, believing that those things wouldn't happen.

Pollsters surveyed 1,600 people in 47 regions for the survey, giving a margin of error of 3.4 percent.

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