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Poll Shows Putin's Electoral Rating Drops Below 60 Percent

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on November 21
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on November 21

A leading independent Russian pollster says the electoral rating of President Vladimir Putin has fallen under 60 percent for the first time in five years.

According to a survey published on November 22 by the Levada Center, if another presidential election were to take place now, 56 percent of the survey’s respondents who said they are likely to vote, said they would vote for Putin.

That figure was 10 percentage points fewer than one year ago.

Compared to similar Levada surveys, the last time Putin's electoral support dropped below 60 percent was in 2013.

Putin, who has been president or prime minister since 1999, was sworn in for a new six-year term on May 7 after a landslide victory in a March election.

The vote was marred by allegations of fraud and what international observers said was a lack of a genuine choice.

Unpopular changes to the pension system announced earlier this year have dented his popularity, while euphoria over the widely popular 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula has waned.

According to Russia's federal statistics service, the average life expectancy in Russia is around 66 for men and 77 for women.

Nearly two-thirds of Russians -- 61 percent -- also think Putin is fully responsible for Russia's problems, while 22 percent say he is partially responsible, the Levada poll also found.

Only 16 per cent of respondents said Putin was not responsible for Russia's problems because he has "done everything correctly."

Levada polled 1,600 people above 18 in 136 locations across Russia between October 18-24.

With reporting by AP, dpa, and Interfax