Almost two out of five Russians would not like to see President Vladimir Putin stay in office after his current term ends in 2024, according to a new poll published by the independent Levada Center pollster.
The question of who will succeed Putin, the country’s longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin, has grown more pressing as his constitutional term limit approaches. Aides and advisers are working on ways to allow Putin to prolong his rule despite his lagging popularity caused by widespread poverty and unpopular pension reforms.
Thirty-eight percent of Russian respondents said they wouldn’t like to see Putin remain president beyond 2024, Levada said Tuesday, an 11% increase since 2018.
At the same time, 54% of Russians said they would like for Putin to stay in office, an increase from 51% in 2018.
The share of undecided respondents has reached a record low of 8%, dropping almost threefold in a year.
The percentage of Russians opposed to Putin’s extended rule reached a record high of 45% in late 2013.
“We’re approaching the situation of 2011-2013 when there was a peak in anti-Putin sentiment… However, this irritated mass is restrained by the lack of a leader who could consolidate discontent,” Lev Gudkov, the head of Levada, told the Vedomosti business daily.
Levada conducted the survey among 1,605 respondents in 50 Russian regions on July 17-24.