Public Support For Russian President Putin Continues To Decline

Maxim Trudolyubov, Moscow Times: When Trust Fails: How Long Can the Russian State Withstand Waning Public Support?

Putin is no longer immune from responsibility for the economic malaise besetting the country he leads.

The Russian public’s trust in the institution of the presidency went down significantly between 2017 and 2019, as did, to a somewhat lesser extent, trust in the Federal Security Service (FSB, successor to the KGB).

Trust in the military remains strong. Still, these three agencies, in the order of the presidency, the army, and the security agency, remain Russians’ most trusted institutions, new survey data published by the independent polling organization Levada revealed on Monday.

But as Vladimir Putin enters the second year of his fourth and possibly last term as president, how the Russian state will respond to the loss of public support becomes a matter of high salience.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There are a few points where I disagree with the above analysis. Officially the stats show the Russian economy is stagnant, and that personal incomes are falling. Unofficially .... the story is different. There is full employment, and the boom of small private businesses that are not fully taken into account in official government statistics continues. On my last visit to Russia a few months ago I was astounded on how big this underground economy has become, and how the middle class was embracing it to earn extra income. The downside are the hours. People are working more, but as long as the government stays away from taxing and regulating this new wealth, people will be content. As for those who have not embraced this new economy .... opposition to Russian President Putin and his government is growing. As to the above commentator's remarks that public trust in the Kremlin is declining .... I totally agree. Public trust is low, but people are giving Putin some leeway. He announced that he was going to retire, and as long as he sticks to his word and the constitution he is been given a pass. On a side note. I do support the Kremlin's economic and financial policies. The budget is in a surplus, Russia’s foreign exchange reserves are one of the highest in the world, its gold stockpile is also huge, and the oil and gas business is booming, even with competition from U.S. oil and gas frackers.

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