Public trust in President Vladimir Putin has dropped to its lowest level since 2006, according to a new state-run poll, another setback for Russia’s president as the country begins to discuss its leadership options after his term limit ends.
The results do not pose an immediate problem for Putin, who won a landslide election victory and a new six-year mandate in March last year but could embolden would-be successors to begin what is likely to be a long game of jostling for the position.
Russians’ trust in Putin has fallen to 31.7 percent, according to data from the state-run VTsIOM pollster published Friday.
The previous record low of 33.4 percent was documented in January 2019.
Despite the decline in trust, the president’s overall approval rating has remained steady at 65.8 percent.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov continue to rank as Russia’s second and third most-trusted politicians with trust ratings of 14.8 percent and 13 percent respectively.
Putin’s trust rating shot up in July 2015 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea (71 percent) and began edging down in May 2018 (47.4 percent), on the back of a lagging economy and a controversial pension reform law.