As Russian President Vladimir Putin progresses with his fourth term in office, the people are losing faith. The strategy of distracting the public’s attention from problems at home with conflicts overseas seems to have lost its effectiveness as ‘kitchen table’ issues come front and center.
Russians’ trust in Putin has fallen to 31.7 percent, according to data from the state-run VTsIOM pollster published Friday, reported The Moscow Times.
The previous record low of 33.4 percent was documented in January 2019. Despite the decline in trust, the president’s overall approval rating has remained steady at 65.8 percent.
The trust figure is significant as it opens up possible opportunities for another Russian politician to oppose any attempt for Putin to stay in power past the constitutionally mandated end of his presidency. Rumors have floated the Kremlin may attempt to force a merger with Belarus, a neighboring former Soviet republic, in order to create a ‘new country’ and therefore require a ‘new constitution’. This would provide a path for Putin to stay in power.
However, Putin’s legitimacy directly rests with the Russian people as any civil unrest could test his staying power, as a ‘color revolution’ is what those in power are deathly afraid of.
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