Public levels of trust in Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have dropped by almost 10% over the past six months, Russian daily Gazeta said on Friday.
A total of 53% of Russians said in June they trusted Medvedev, according to a survey by Russia's Public Opinion Fund. In January, the figure stood at 62%, and in May at 60%.
The current figure is the lowest since Medvedev took office in 2008. Only half of Russians (49%) then trusted their president. The number of those who say they do not trust Medvedev has risen by 3% over the past half a year.
Putin, the poll revealed, is considered more trustworthy than Medvedev. The pole showed 61% trusted their prime minister, a drop of 8% from January and 10% from the third quarter of 2009.
Some 14% of Russians said they do not trust Putin, 4% more than in January. In 2003-2005, when Putin was Russian president, only 46-47% of Russians said they trusted him.
Leonty Byzov, a senior research associate at the Institute of Sociology at Russia's Academy of Sciences, told Gazeta the research proved a theory that public confidence in the leadership of a country tends to drop after a crisis is resolved, rather when it is at its peak.
He said people begin blaming the authorities when the pace of economic recovery turns out to be slower than people expected. According to Byzov, the crisis caused an increase in the number of Russians who believe the country is going nowhere.
"It is linked with systematic corruption. People see no actions by Putin and Medvedev aimed at fighting it," Byzov said. "As a result, citizens are no longer satisfied with the minimum social guarantees provided by the authorities."
He said the increased number of billionaires after the crisis also served to lower public opinion of the government.
MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti)