Staunton, December 8 – The North Caucasus has delivered the highest percentages for Vladimir Putin in all past elections, but a new poll conducted by the Czech Medium-Orient Agency finds that the share of North Caucasians who don’t trust the Kremlin leader now stands at 23.3 percent, a figure that suggests support for him there may be softening.
The agency surveyed 1200 people across the region and found that 13.9 percent of the residents of that region say they do not trust Putin at all and 9.4 percent more say they are inclined not to trust him. At the same time 16.7 percent said they couldn’t or wouldn’t answer (caucasustimes.com/ru/opros-menshe-vseh-vladimiru-putinu-doverjajut-zhiteli-kabardino-balkarii/).
At the same time, the poll found that 40.3 percent of North Caucasians say they fully trust Putin, while another 19.7 percent say that they are more inclined to trust him than not.
In its report on this poll today, the Prague-based Caucasus Times says that “the fact that a quarter of those questioned express their distrust of the president of rusisa and 16 percent more have difficulty answering that question testified to the fact that Mr. Putin has exhausted the trust of a significant part of the population of the North Caucasus.”
The Medium-Orient findings are consistent with those found at the all-Russian level by the Levada Center which has reported that 21 percent of all Russians completely trust the president, down from 26 percent last year, while the share who don’t trust him stands at 14 percent.
In short and despite what many have assumed, the peoples of the North Caucasus are also losing confidence in Putin and are not outliers on this issue who still overwhelmingly support him. Their republic heads may be able to deliver the vote for him that he wants, but their work is now very much cut out for them.
And there is another development today which this shift in opinion has prompted: Opposition candidate Kseniya Sobchak after holding off from making an effort in the North Caucasus has announced plans to open campaign offices in both Daghestan and Ingushetia (onkavkaz.com/novosti/3589-ksenija-sobchak-otkryla-shtaby-v-dagestane-i-v-ingushetii.html).