Russian President Putin's Approval Rating Drops To Record Low

The approval rating of Russian president Vladimir Putin fell to 59% in April, compared to 63% in the previous month according to a poll organized by the Levada Center, an independent Russian non-governmental polling and sociological research organization. The Levada Center drew its findings from 1,608 Russian adults surveyed between the 24th to the 27th of April. A 59% approval rating seems to be a historic low for Russian leader Putin, who began the year with a 68% approval rating. This is somewhat explainable however, as Russia has found itself in the middle of an oil price war with Saudi Arabia that it seems to be loosing. The country is also facing a severe coronavirus pandemic, having recorded more than 165,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in its shores.

The Levada Center's ratings poll was conducted by telephone rather than face to face as is usually done, a situation that may have contributed to Putin's ratings drop according to the Center itself. Speaking to newsroom Reuters on Wednesday, Levada’s Deputy Director Denis Volkov said that the change in polling methodology could have shaved 1-2% off Putin's rating. However, even a rating of about 61% is a historic low for Putin, such rating last recorded sometime around 2013.

Putin has served as Russia's president since 2012, after previously holding the position from 1999 until 2008. Before the coronavirus pandemic struck Russia, the country was set to hold a referendum on constitutional changes that would enable the president to run for more terms in office. That referendum has been postponed however, in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic.