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Putin Enjoys Popularity Spike in U.S.

An old Russian poster depicting Uncle Sam shaking hands with a representative of Russian democracy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is enjoying his highest approval ratings in the United States since 2013.

Some 22 percent of Americans now view Putin in a positive light, a report by U.S. pollster Gallup revealed on Wednesday. The score shows a marked improvement on Putin's 13 percent approval rating in 2015 — an all-time low for the Russian president — and his 19 percent rating in 2013.

Republican voters, whose support for Putin skyrocketed from 12 percent in 2015 to 32 percent to 2017,  are being credited with the change.

A majority of Americans still see Putin in a negative light, with 72 percent of respondents saying they viewed the Russian leader “unfavorably.” This figure has stayed steady since 2015, after rising sharply from 54 percent in 2013. Democrat voters are more likely to dislike Putin, with just one in ten viewing him positively.

Americans' view of Russia mirrors their attitudes toward Putin, the Gallup report found. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said that they view Russia favorably, compared to 70 percent who said they held more negative views of the country.

The survey was carried out with 1,035 Americans across 50 states between Feb. 1 and Feb. 5.

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