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Trust in Putin Doubles After Kremlin Criticizes Poll

Mikhail Metsel / TASS

Public trust in President Vladimir Putin has more than doubled hours after the Kremlin asked sociologists to explain why his trust and approval ratings differ.

A state-funded survey published May 24 said that trust in Putin slipped to a 13-year low of 31.7 percent. The Kremlin on Thursday asked the VTsIOM pollster to explain how that figure correlates with Putin’s approval rating of 65 percent in the same survey.

VTsIOM published new figures on Friday showing trust in Putin skyrocketing to 72.3 percent after the Kremlin’s criticism.

“We now ask the respondents directly whether or not they trust [politicians] and mention specific first and last names,” Valery Fyodorov, the head of VTsIOM, told the RBC news website.

When the respondents were asked open-ended questions, trust in Putin dropped further to 30.5 percent.

Political analyst Mikhail Vinogradov called the pollster’s inclusion of both open-ended and multiple-choice questions a “clever” move.

“Some respondents will simply not answer an open-ended question, whereas here you have a stark choice: yes or no,” Denis Volkov, deputy head of the independent Levada Center pollster, told RBC.

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