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A majority of Russian citizens hold Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘fully responsible’ for the country’s current problems.
Putin’s popularity has been hurt by legislation he signed last month to raise the pension eligibility age, which has brought down his approval rating to five-year lows. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they hold Putin “fully” accountable for the nation’s problems, according to survey results published by Levada on Thursday. Another 22 percent said they hold Putin “somewhat” responsible.
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“This is truly an all-time record number,” political analyst Boris Makarenko told the Vedomosti business daily in comments on the results. “With the fall of the ruble in late 2014, the situation worsened and approval indicators for socio-economic policy have been dropping since. Pension reform became a trigger that changed the situation,” he was quoted as saying, reported The Moscow Times.
Putin has used offshore military adventures to take the public’s mind off economic problems which have worsened since the 2014 recession caused by the collapse in global oil prices. However, the Kremlin began to reduce military spending this year as social spending had been negatively impacted.