Putin's approval ratings fall to six-year low: poll
Approval ratings for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin fell to a six-year low in March amid growing public distrust in the government, an opinion poll published Thursday found.
The Levada independent polling centre said the survey carried out in March found the lowest approval figures for Putin since early 2005, when people took to the streets to protest against reforms of the state benefits system.
Putin's current rating stands at 69 percent, with the figure falling from 78 percent in January 2010. By comparison, in a poll conducted in March 2005 his rating was 66 percent.
Putin however continues to top a poll of the most trusted politicians, winning 39 percent of votes, down from 48 percent in January last year.
President Dmitry Medvedev also saw his slightly lower approval rating fall from 75 to 66 percent in the same period, the lowest since early 2008, the polling centre said.
In just a year's time, a presidential ballot could see Putin return for a third term in office in the Kremlin, although neither he nor Medvedev have confirmed an intention to stand.
The survey found that people expressed growing mistrust in politics over the last year, which has seen rising food prices and high-profile scandals involving corrupt officials.
A total of 42 percent of respondents said they believed the country was going in the wrong direction, up from 32 percent in January 2010.
A total of 1,600 participated in the poll conducted between March 18 and 21, which had a margin of error of 3.4 percent
© 2011 AFP