Putin’s approval rating reaches new high: Poll

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MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has reached a new high of almost 90 percent amid Moscow’s airstrikes against Syrian rebels, a recent opinion poll shows.

“The approval rating of Vladimir Putin’s activities has set a new record of 89.9 percent, breaking the previous record set in June 2015 [of 89.1 percent],” according to the poll, which was conducted by Russia’s Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) and released on Thursday.

The pollster obtained the findings by interviewing 1,600 people in 130 various parts of Russia on October 17 and 18.

The most significant factor contributing to the high approval rating was Russia’s air campaign in Syria, the VTsIOM said in a statement.

“Such a high level of approval for the work of the Russian president is linked, in the first instance, to events in Syria, to Russian airstrikes on terrorist positions there,” the statement emphasized.

Moscow launched its air raids against terrorist groups in Syria upon a request by Damascus on September 30, shortly after the upper house of the Russian parliament gave Putin the mandate to use the air force in the Arab country. Many political observers have commended the strikes’ achievements.

A survey conducted in early October showed that 72 percent of theRussians had a largely positive opinion about the air raids.

Russia’s other major pollster, the Levada Center, had also recorded high public approval rating of 83 percent for Putin in August.

In April, readers of the Time magazine voted for Putin as the most influential figure of 2015. The US media outlet had also named him the “Person of the Year” in 2007.

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