Putin's Popularity Rises in Russia, Drops Among Americans, Polls Say

Approval numbers regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin's activities since the start of the Russia-Ukraine War have seen a steep increase in recent months, according to a new poll from independent pollster Levada.

The poll showed that approval of Putin's actions increased from 69 percent in January to 83 percent in March.

But in the U.S., Putin's confidence rating has dropped to dismal lows, according to another new poll from the Pew Research Center. Just 6 percent of surveyed U.S. adults said that they have confidence in Putin after his decision to invade Ukraine.

The Russia-Ukraine War has left many people weighing whether they approve of or have confidence in the leaders involved in it. While approval ratings for Putin have seen an increase in Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Putin's main foe in the war, has also seen his support skyrocket both at home in Ukraine and in the U.S.

The Pew Research poll found that 72 percent of Americans have some or a lot of confidence in Zelensky, the highest rating out of any global leader included in the survey.

Putin Approval Ratings
Russian President Vladimir Putin's approval rating in Russia has seen a steep increase since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. Above, Putin speaks during a concert marking the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, on March 18 in Moscow. Getty Images

When it comes to U.S. President Joe Biden's handling of international affairs, Americans are much more divided. Of the respondents, 48 percent said that they have confidence in Biden's handling of international affairs, while 52 percent said that they have no confidence or not too much confidence.

A Quinnipiac University national poll, conducted between March 10 and 14, found that 49 percent of respondents have a negative view of Biden's response to the war, compared to 42 percent who approve.

Since February, the level of confidence in Putin as a leader has increased by 10 percentage points in Russia to reach 44 percent, the Levada poll said. Putin is not the only Russian figure whose approval or confidence ratings have increased since Russia invaded Ukraine late last month.

In January, 59 percent of Russians approved of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin's activities, but that figure was up to 71 percent in March, according to the Levada poll. The levels of trust for Mishustin, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have also increased.

Approval of the Russian government's activities has also seen a sharp uptick. In February, 55 percent approved and 42 percent disapproved. In March, 70 percent approved and 27 percent disapproved, according to the Levada poll.

Newsweek has reached out to Russia's Foreign Ministry for comment but did not hear back by publication time.

Follow Newsweek's live blog for updates on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Update 03/30/22, 4:05 p.m. ET: This article was updated with additional information and background.