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Putin's rating dips to low, but the poll shows rising support for extending the rule

Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has slipped to its lowest level in more than two decades amid the coronavirus crisis, even as support for his plan to extend his rule for years ahead has risen, a poll showed on Wednesday.

The poll, by the Levada-Center, showed Putin’s support fell to 59% in April, from 63% in March. It was the worst result for Putin recorded by Levada since September 1999 when Putin was a rookie prime minister with a 53% approval rating. However, support for his plan to change the constitution to allow him to extend his rule until 2036 rose to 47 percent in April, up from 40 percent in March. A nationwide vote on the proposed change, scheduled for last month but delayed because of the virus outbreak, is now expected later this year. Putin’s approval rating is still very high by Western standards, and there is no sign that the man who has dominated Russian politics as president or prime minister for more than 20 years and survived many crises, is about to be toppled.

Economic and social fallout from the coronavirus crisis is causing problems for him though, as the number of cases continues to sharply rise, oil prices remain historically low and a lockdown poisons the economy and people’s livelihoods. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by more than 10,000 on Wednesday for a fourth consecutive day and now stands at 165,929, though at 1,537 the death toll remains far lower than in many other countries. 6 May 2020

News Source Reuters

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