Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 192

Recent data indicate that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s political star is rising rapidly. According to the results of a presidential preference poll commissioned by Russian Public Television (ORT), Putin and former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov top the list, each man with 18 percent. The channel noted that Putin’s rating has been rising for several weeks in a row, while Primakov’s–who for many months now has led most such polls–has been falling. Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov came in second, winning the support of 15 percent of those polled, while Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky got 7 percent (ORT, October 17).

At the end of last week, the head of the Kremlin administration’s department of domestic politics, Andrei Loginov, held a press conference in Moscow to reveal the findings of a poll recently carried out by the Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information (FAPSI) among 6,000 Russians. The survey, which was conducted on October 13, found that Primakov’s popularity had fallen from 21 percent to 16.6 percent over a month, while Putin’s had risen from 1.7 percent to 13.7 percent. The survey also found that Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov’s rating had risen from 15.2 percent to 16.2 percent, and Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky’s had risen from 7.4 percent to 8.8 percent, while Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s rating had fallen from 7.2 percent to 4.6 percent (Russian agencies, October 15).

Polls taken by the Public Opinion Foundation have seen Putin’s approval rating among active voters rise from 1 percent in the third week of August to 18 percent during the second week of October. Another major polling company, the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, found in a poll it carried out over October 10-12 that 70 percent of those surveyed trusted Putin, while 20 percent did not. Respondents were asked to what degree they trusted Putin and Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s emergencies minister and head of the recently formed Unity political bloc. Fifty-five percent said they trusted Shoigu; 18 percent said they did not (https://www.polit.ru; https://www.fom.ru).