Speed Reads


Putin's approval rating is at a record high in Russia

Despite growing suspicion that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by rebels using a Russian-made missile, Vladimir Putin's approval rating among Russians is at its highest in years.

A Gallup poll published Friday shows that 83 percent of Russians approve of their president, even amid the conflict in Ukraine. Putin's approval rating was also 83 percent in 2008, and has not been that high ever since. Notably, it's also a 29 percent increase from Putin's 2013 approval rating:


In addition to presidential approval, 78 percent of Russians expressed confidence in their military, 64 percent in their national government, and 39 percent in the honesty of Russian elections.

Aside from their approval of the Russian government, a whopping 65 percent of Russians were satisfied with their freedom in 2014, and 35 percent thought economic conditions were improving.

However, Russians gave both U.S. and EU leadership single-digit approval ratings:


Despite plummeting perceptions of the EU, however, Russians' approval rating of China is an astounding 42 percent.