Public support for Vladimir Putin to serve another term as president has hit its highest level in four years, a survey by a state-run pollster showed Thursday. Seventy-four percent of Russians would vote to re-elect Putin as president, according to a poll by VTsIOM.
Putin dominates state media in Russia and is widely expected to contest the next presidential election in 2018. If he won, it would be his fourth term as president. He has capitalized on conflicts in Ukraine and Syria to boost his popularity and his message that Russia is again a force to be reckoned with on the world stage has gone down well with voters.
VTsIOM said Putin’s approval ratings had risen among many social groups, including young people. It also showed his support levels had risen sharply in recent years; in 2012 in the same polling series, only 40 percent of Russians said they would vote for the Russian leader.
“Even among those who think the president has not yet fulfilled many of his pre-election promises, 70 percent are willing to support Putin,” VTsIOM said in a statement published on its website.