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Putin’s Approval Rating Falls to Lowest in at Least 19 Months

July 22 (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s approval rating fell to 68 percent in July, the lowest since at least January 2010, according to a poll published today.

Thirty-one percent of Russians said they disapproved of Putin’s work as prime minister and 53 percent were dissatisfied with his government, both record highs for the 19-month period the Moscow-based Levada Center said today on its website.

President Dmitry Medvedev’s approval rating was 66 percent, unchanged from June and matching the low for the period. Putin’s rating dropped 1 percentage point in the month and is down from a high of 80 percent in May 2010, according to Levada. Medvedev’s rating peaked at 77 percent the same month.

Russia’s top two politicians are maintaining some “intrigue” by delaying an announcement on who will run for the presidency next year, Medvedev said June 18. Putin, 58, handed over the presidency to Medvedev, 45, after serving the maximum of two consecutive terms from 2000 to 2008. The winner of the March 4 election may be able to stay in office until 2024 after the term was increased to six years.

The poll of 1,600 people was conducted in 45 Russian regions July 15-19 and has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Rose in Moscow at rrose10@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net.

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