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Russia

Stunning New Poll In Russia: Support Plunges For Putin And His Party

The latest survey found support fading for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev after they announced plans to "swap" top positions in upcoming elections. Though the poll is not expected to unseat their Uni

Russia's dynamic duo: Dmitry Medvedev (left) and Vladimir Putin
Russia's dynamic duo: Dmitry Medvedev (left) and Vladimir Putin

*NEWSBITES

MOSCOW - Just weeks ahead of Russian parliamentary elections, a new poll has delivered troubling news to the power tandem of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin. Their ruling party United Russia has lost 9% of its support, with individual approval plunging for both President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin following their recent coordinated announcements that they would seek to fill each other's current posts.

Medvedev's approval rating has gone from 77% to 57%, while Putin's dropped from 80% to 61%, according to the survey conducted by the Levada Centre think tank. Support for the ruling party dipped from 60% two weeks ago to 51%, with a spike in support for the Communist Party and the Liberal Democrats.

The opposition A Just Russia party has also seen a boost in support, approaching the 7% threshold needed to take seats in the parliament, or Duma. If these figures hold, the Duma will have the same four parties as it does now, but United Russia would have 63 fewer seats. Still, one-third of Russians have not yet decided who to vote for.

Deputy Director of the Levada Center Alexei Grazhdankin told Kommersant the fall in popularity of the ruling party was linked to the decline in support for its two top figures. While he did not predict a collapse of United Russia, Grazhdankin said many voters were offended at the recently announced power swap. There was also dissatisfaction that in the Putin decade, promised goals were not met, including proposed increases to wages and pensions that are negligible compared to price increases.

Medvedev, "after three years in office was perceived as an independent political figure, with a real support group." But people expected real opposition during the electoral cycle, which instead has "turned out as it always does," notes Grazhdankin.

Communist State Duma Deputy Sergei Obukhov said that while the Duma elections may not result in failure for United Russia, "a tectonic shift in mass consciousness has already occurred."

Yabloka party leader Sergei Mitrokhin said support for the ruling party is even lower than what any survey shows. United Russia dismissed the latest poll results as a "fluctuation."

Read the full story in Russia by Victor Khamraev

Photo – Iopnor

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Geopolitics

The Paradox Of Putin's War: Europe Is Going To Get Bigger, And Move Eastward

The rules for accession to the European Union have been modified to accelerate Kyiv's bid. But it won't stop there.

European Parliament in Strasbourg

Valon Murtezaj

-Analysis-

PARIS — Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has upended the European order as we know it, and that was even before the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline was cut off earlier this month. While the bloc gets down to grappling with the unfolding energy crisis, the question of consolidating its flanks by speeding up the enlargement process has also come back into focus.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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In a critical meeting on June 23-24, the European Сouncil granted candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova and recognized the “European perspective” of Georgia – a nod acknowledging the country’s future belonged within the European Union.

Less than a month later, Brussels brought to an end the respectively 8- and 17-year-long waits for Albania and North Macedonia by allowing them into the foray of accession negotiations.

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