Over two-thirds of Russians approve of Vladimir Putin’s performance as president, and almost half believe the country is developing in the right direction, an independent opinion poll has revealed.

The Levada Center published the results of an opinion poll on Tuesday, which showed that 67 percent of Russians approve of the actions of President Vladimir Putin. Some 32 percent of respondents said they were not satisfied with Putin’s performance, and one percent found the question too complicated to answer.

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Victory Day celebrations on the Red Square in Moscow © Moskva news agency

This differs significantly from Putin’s 82 percent approval rating that was recorded in April, between the president’s re-election and swearing in for a new presidential term. In the same poll, 17 percent of Russians disapproved of Putin’s work, while one percent remained undecided.

When researchers asked respondents about their opinion of Dmitry Medvedev’s performance of prime minister, only 31 percent said they were satisfied, while 69 percent indicated that the chairman of the cabinet was not doing his job properly.

A question about the work of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, revealed that 33 percent of respondents approved of its work, while 65 percent disapproved.

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Participants of the May1 demonstration in the Russian city of Simferopol © Aleksey Malgavko

However, when asked a question about the general development of the country, 48 percent of Russians said it was heading in the right direction. Some 40 percent disagreed, and 12 percent could not answer.

A separate poll conducted by the state-run sociological agency VTSIOM in April this year showed that 49 percent of Russians consider their country to be a great world power, down from 57 percent a year ago. However, about one-third told researchers that they expect Russia to become a leading world nation over the next 10 to 15 years.

When researchers asked ordinary Russians what made their country strong and respected, 26 percent cited its military forces, 22 percent mentioned “the strong spirit and will of the Russian people,” and 17 percent attributed the nation’s success to the “good and powerful president,” Vladimir Putin.

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