Putin's Approval Ratings Soar to Six-Year High
Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a signing ceremony at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
President Vladimir Putin's approval ratings are nearing unprecedented high levels as an increasing number of Russians believe their country has great influence on world affairs, data showed.
In a monthly survey of Russian politicians' approval ratings published Thursday, independent pollster Levada Center said Putin's ratings had reached 83 percent in May, a slight increase of one percent from the month before.
The number marks a six-year high in Putin's popularity bringing it only 3 percent off the 88- percent top rating recorded in January 2008.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also enjoyed a popularity boost this month with his rating climbing to 65 percent from 60 percent in April.
Putin's ratings have seen an 18-percent hike since the beginning of the year, likely boosted by Russia's active role in the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea in March.
A separate poll conducted by state-funded polling agency VTSiOM published on Thursday showed a large majority of Russians, 82 percent, thought their country played a large role in global affairs, compared to only 58 percent six years ago.
Out of the respondents, one quarter said Russia had a "very large influence" on global affairs, and more than half, 57 percent, labeled its role "quite influential."
One in ten said Russia's role was not very significant, and three percent thought Russia had practically no influence on international decision making.
The VTSiOM poll was held on April 12-14 in 42 Russian regions while the Levada Poll was conducted on May 23-26 in 45 regions.
Both polls were conducted among 1,600 respondents and had a margin of error of 3.4 percent.