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Poll Shows Putin Remains Popular in Russia

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin toasts with ambassadors after a ceremony of presentation of credentials by foreign ambassadors in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow.

A leading Russian pollster says President Vladimir Putin continues to have strong political support in the country despite a worsening economic situation.

A poll conducted by the Levada-Center found 85 percent of Russians still approve of Putin's leadership.

The poll found 57 percent of Russians in 46 regions believe Putin is one of their most trusted leaders.

Analysts say Russia has managed inflation better than in the 1998 financial crisis, which has kept public opinion of Putin strong.

The ruble fell by 70 percent against the U.S. dollar in the 1998 financial crisis.

Political analysts believe Western political and economic attacks on the Kremlin also have helped to rally national patriotic support behind Putin.

The Britain-based Financial Times warned, however, such public opinion polls in Russia are notoriously inaccurate.