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Putin’s Approval Rating Returns to Pre-Coronavirus Levels – Poll

The share of Russians who approve of Putin hit a historic low at the height of the pandemic.

President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has jumped to one of its highest levels since the start of the year as Russia continues its steady recovery from the coronavirus outbreak, the independent Levada Center polling agency said Wednesday.

At 66% in August, Putin’s approval rating went up by six percentage points in a month and almost reached the high 60s in January and February, according to Levada’s results. The share of Russians who approve of Putin hit a historic low of 59% at the height of the pandemic in April and May before slightly improving to 60% in June and July.

“There’s overall relief that the uncertainty is over and the payments have come through,” Levada sociologist Denis Volkov told Bloomberg, referring to the government's coronavirus-related assistance to certain segments of the population. 

“But it’s hard to say if it will continue rising in the coming months — a lot will depend on the economy,” Volkov said.

Leavada conducted its monthly survey among 1,601 Russian respondents between Aug. 20-26.

Thirty-three percent of its respondents this month said they disapproved of Putin’s work, a figure that has remained relatively stable this year. 

Other government institutions have also seen a bump in approval, including a 10-point jump for Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

For the first time since February, a majority of Levada’s respondents in August said they believe the country is on the right course.

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