Russians' trust in President Vladimir Putin has slipped again, according to a survey by Russia's main state-funded pollster released just days before Putin's annual nationally televised call-in show.
The survey conducted by the company known widely as VTsIOM and released on June 14, showed that 71.7 percent of Russians surveyed responded positively when asked if they thought Putin was trustworthy or untrustworthy. The poll was conducted June 3-9.
That's down slightly from an identical poll taken the week prior, which showed 72.4 percent of Russians saying they thought Putin was trustworthy.
In both cases, 1,600 Russians in 80 regions across the country were surveyed by telephone. No margin of error was given.
The two polls were conducted by VTsIOM after the pollster revamped its methodology and line of questions used in conducing the surveys.
The shift came in the wake of a poll that showed Putin's trust ratings falling to record lows -- a result that prompted the Kremlin's chief spokesman to publicly question the pollster's methodology.
The decline in Putin's popularity ratings has been a longer-term trend, even though Putin overwhelmingly won an election for a fourth term as president last year.
Since winning, Putin and Kremlin-allied lawmakers in parliament have pushed a series of controversial social and economic reforms that have angered many Russians.
These include raising the pension age and increasing value-added tax.
Putin on June 20 was scheduled to hold his annual call-in show, a live, nationally televised event where Russians from around the country call, or e-mail or text, questions or complaints to Putin.
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