Support for Putin soars in Ukraine crisis: Poll
Published on May 15, 2014 10:38 PM
MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, his popularity driven up by the crisis in Ukraine, is firmly on course to win a new term in 2018 if he decides to run, an independent polling agency said on Thursday.
A survey by the Levada research group found 81 per cent of respondents would be ready to vote for Putin if a presidential election took place now, up from 77 per cent in April and 68 per cent in January.
Putin's public support has been rising since the start of the Ukraine crisis, during which Russia has annexed the Crimea region, the president has fiercely criticised the pro-Western leadership in Kiev and relations with the West have worsened.
"His determination appeals to the majority of the electorate," Alexei Grazhdankin, deputy head of Levada, said in a statement. "It is unlikely that by 2018 a politician will emerge who can compete with Putin for the presidential seat."
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