For John, BLUF: President Putin may look, to US Democrats, like he is riding high, but he has some popularity problems at home. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Here is the sub-headline:
It reveals that the country needs Perestroika 2.0.
From The Nation, by Ms Nadezhda Azhgikhina, 1 February 2019.
Here is the lede plus one:
The Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report placed Russia at the very end of the list in population trust. In commenting on the news, the popular newspaper MK noted sarcastically that “the new national idea for Russia is now general distrust,” a reference to the fruitless attempts to formulate a “national idea” in the Yeltsin years.This does not bode well. President Putin needs some more bare chested horse ride videos.
Russian sociologists also write about the lack of trust in state and public institutions. The most recent poll by the independent Levada Center found that more than half of the respondents (53 percent) feel that the government is not executing its responsibilities to its citizens and should resign. In late 2018, according to the Levada Center, 45 percent thought the country was on the wrong track, 11 percent did not have an opinion, and 44 percent supported the nation’s current course. The number of people ready to join protests against the plunging living standard was at 30 percent. The president’s popularity started falling in mid-2018. In January, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) reported that Vladimir Putin’s approval rating was down three points in December, to 33.4 percent (the Foundation for Public Opinion says it is 46 percent; and Levada Center, 66 percent). The head of VTsIOM said this was the lowest indicator in the last 15 years. The president’s annual New Year’s address got a record number of dislikes online. Citizens are starting to lay the blame for the country’s problems not only the government and officials, as they had in the past, but also on the president. Obviously, the contract between public and regime, which had seemed inviolate for many years, has been undermined.
Regards — Cliff