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Most Russians Unhappy That Medvedev Remains PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) listens to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during a meeting in Sochi on May 15.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) listens to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during a meeting in Sochi on May 15.

A new survey shows that a majority of Russians are unhappy that President Vladimir Putin's "tandem" partner, Dmitry Medvedev, has been appointed to a new term as prime minister.

In a poll conducted in May, independent pollster Levada Center found that 51 percent of those surveyed fully or partially disapprove of Medvedev's appointment, while 41 percent fully or partially support it.

The rest found it difficult to answer the question in the poll, which surveyed 1,600 Russians across the country and had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

Putin was sworn in to a fourth presidential term on May 7 and swiftly named Medvedev, 52, to stay on as prime minister.

Putin and Medvedev are the only people to hold the two top posts in Russia since 2008, when Putin steered Medvedev into the Kremlin and became prime minister to avoid violating the constitution by serving three straight presidential terms.

They switched places in 2012, with Putin returning to the presidency and Medvedev becoming prime minister.

In a poll conducted by the Levada Center at the time, 59 percent of respondents expressed a positive view of Medvedev's appointment, while 25 percent voiced a negative view.

In the May 2018 survey, whose results were published on June 1, 56 percent of respondents said Russia is moving in the right direction, down from 63 percent shortly after the March 18 presidential election and 60 percent in April.

At the same time, 27 percent said the country is moving in the wrong direction, up from 23 percent in late March and 26 percent in April.

Putin, 65, won a landslide victory in the election, which opponents said was marred by fraud and international observers said lacked competition and did not present Russians with a genuine choice.

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