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Support for Putin Sinks to Lowest Point in 12 Years, Poll Says

An independent poll released Tuesday showed that one-third of Russians do not support Vladimir Putin's actions as president, marking his lowest approval rating in 12 years.

Steadily improving economic conditions and political stability have earned Putin wide support among Russians over the almost 14 years he has served alternately as president and prime minister.

Thirty-one percent of respondents had a negative opinion of Putin's actions, according to the survey, conducted in mid-November by the Levada Center pollster.

The proportion of those questioned that back Putin's policies stood at 47 percent, the lowest since 2001.

Sixteen percent said they did not have enough information to express an opinion.

While views on Putin's policies appears to have weakened, the president is still generally held in high regard.

Fifty-two percent of respondents told the Levada Center that their overall opinion of Putin was generally favorable. Only 29 percent said their attitude to the president was generally unfavorable.

Similar polls conducted in from 2001 to 2007, during Putin's first two terms as president, showed the number of Russians supporting him as ranging between 68 percent and 76 percent.

The number of his critics never exceeded the 15 percent mark over that period.

Levada Center based its findings on responses from 1,603 people across 45 regions.

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