Henry Kirby in London -
Despite being three years away, the next Russian presidential election will see Vladimir Putin re-elected in a landslide, according to a study by the independent Levada Center.
The results of the poll, published on January 15, found that if a general election were to take place this weekend, Putin would eclipse all other potential runners, with 55% of those surveyed opting for the current president, as the first bne:Chart below shows.
Gennady Zyuganov placed second, with a mere 4% of respondents saying that they would vote for the Communist Party leader.
The results follow a year that has seen the ruble lose more than half of its value against the dollar as oil prices dropped to lows not seen for over a decade. All of this in the midst of Western sanctions that have increasingly isolated Russia’s economy, which is set to fall into recession in 2014.
Russia’s current economic hardships if anything have stoked up a latent sense of nationalism that has allowed Putin to emerge as the best option for many Russians.
A further poll by Levada shows that 72% of respondents believe that relations with the West and Nato have gotten worse in 2014, compared with only 29% in 2013.
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