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  Sunday, July 21, 2019
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This winter has been the most difficult for President Vladimir Putin
This winter has been the most difficult for the head of state, government and parliament since President Vladimir Putin came to power. However, prominent sociologists say there is no talk of an irreparable crisis of confidence, Izvestia writes. Russians' confidence in Mr. Putin has grown by 5% over the last month, the Levada Center reported on Thursday. Today, almost two thirds or 65% of citizens approve of the president's policy. Indeed, 42% of Russians would be ready to re-elect him this week, says Alexander Oslon, president of the Public Opinion fund. Yelena Bashkirova, the head of Bashkirova & Partners, says that most Russians blame the failed benefit reform on the government and Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov personally. Now the crisis is almost over: people were waiting for the president to explain the government's position and to take action. He did so, demanding that the cabinet raise pensions and allowances to servicemen. The protests are definitely fading, but there is still an unpleasant aftertaste, points out Valery Fyodorov, the general director of the All-Russian Opinion Research Center. This year the public mindset has a so-called negative filter turned on: the public ignores the positive aspects of proposed reforms, believing that any moves from the authorities will have bad consequences. This is an extremely serious problem and the government will have to address it soon. Sociologists, however, doubt whether Mr. Fradkov's government can cope with the task
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