Oliver Stone and Megyn Kelly’s efforts notwithstanding, Russian President Vladimir Putin does not possess as much acclaim among his people as Donald Trump would have Americans believe. The two-time president finds himself in the middle of a brewing anti-corruption movement led by Russian activist Aleksei Navalny, who organized a massive protest in Moscow just over a week ago, was promptly arrested for demonstrating without authorization, and summarily sentenced to 30 days in jail. And while Putin regularly enjoys trolling the American media, a new poll suggests his citizens are growing weary of it all.
Politico reports the results of a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center indicates fewer Russians are pleased with their president’s handling of U.S.-Russia relations than a similar poll revealed two years ago. Specifically, 73 percent of Russians polled approve of Putin’s relations with America while 22 percent disapprove. And while the president here enjoys an obvious majority, Politico notes that the same question polled in 2015 with 85 points of approval. In other words, Putin has lost a dramatic 12 points in two years’ time.
As for the recent anti-corruption protests, that particular subject has become increasingly important to the Russian people, according to the same Pew poll. For out of eight major subjects — including U.S.-Russia relations, energy policy, and the economy — Putin failed to garner a majority result in only one: corruption. 49 percent of Russians approve of Putin’s handling of possible corruption within, and in relation to, the country’s government, whereas 45 percent do not. It’s the closest result among all the others identified by Pew, and altogether unsurprising considering recent events in Moscow.