Staunton, May 8 – In what may be the best measure of both Vladimir Putin’s real standing with the Russian people and with the impact of his foreign policy actions intended to boost his standing, 51 percent of Russians say they find it difficult to name any achievement of the Kremlin leader during the past year.
In the survey, Russians named Putin’s military operation in Syria most often as an achievement, but only eight percent did so. Seven percent mentioned the annexation of Crimea (which actually happened earlier), and five percent mentioned Putin’s assistance to those who called in on his “direct line” program (rosbalt.ru/federal/2016/05/07/1512675.html).
At the same time, 42 percent of those surveyed couldn’t name any Putin action they did not like, but five percent said they were displeased by Russian assistance to other countries, four percent complained about the low standard of living in Russia today, and two percent about price rises. But 35 percent said they liked everything he had done.
Four percent, the survey found, blamed Putin for recent changes to the worse in the country and said that any improvements were not his doing. At the same time, a quarter of the population – 26 percent – said that both the positive and negative changes in the country were the result of the Kremlin leader’s actions.
Putin and his supporters can be buoyed up by one poll finding: The share of those who say he is responsible for all the positive things but not the negative has risen from 23 percent in 2013 to 38 percent now.