That’s its lowest level in two years (and one that other global leaders can only dream of achieving) and it could go lower with discontent in the provinces that are the bedrock of Putin’s support. The president’s new challenge: defending his record amid economic stagnation after the turbocharged good times of the oil boom that marked his first decade in power.
Still, Russians have a long history of enduring hardship, and it’s a highly conservative society in which even those who dislike Putin see no real alternative to him. At 63 and after 16 years in power, Putin has outlasted all other major international leaders. He’ll soon be on his fourth U.S. president.
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