RFE/RL reports: Russian President Vladimir Putin is enjoying almost unprecedented job-approval ratings in his country.
And the only reason for this popularity surge, sociologists say, is Russia’s tough stance on Ukraine.
“A fierce anti-Ukrainian campaign was launched,” says leading sociologist Lev Gudkov, the head of Russia’s independent Levada polling center. “Authorities have used the language of war, the language of the ‘fight against fascism,’ of mass consolidation and unification.”
Despite Western anger at Russia’s role in fomenting separatist unrest in Ukraine – including its dramatic annexation of Crimea — Moscow’s crusade against what it portrays as a neo-Nazi threat emanating from Kyiv is paying off at home. [Continue reading…]