Russia reports new record in coronavirus cases, Putin’s rating popularity dips

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Russia on Thursday reported 11,231 new cases of the novel coronavirus, a record daily rise that pushed the national case total to 177,160.

Russia’s coronavirus taskforce said 88 people had died overnight, bringing the coronavirus death toll to 1,625. Moscow, the worst-hit area, also reported a record overnight case increase of 6,703 new cases.

Moscow’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, said on Wednesday that the case total was rising in the capital because the amount of testing had been stepped up.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has slipped to its lowest level in more than two decades amid the coronavirus crisis, even as support for his plan to extend his rule for years ahead has risen, a poll showed on Wednesday.

The poll, by the Levada-Center, showed Putin’s support fell to 59% in April, from 63% in March. It was the worst result for Putin recorded by Levada since September 1999 when Putin was a rookie prime minister with a 53% approval rating.

However, support for his plan to change the constitution to allow him to extend his rule until 2036 rose to 47 percent in April, up from 40 percent in March. A nationwide vote on the proposed change, scheduled for last month but delayed because of the virus outbreak, is now expected later this year.

Putin’s approval rating is still very high by Western standards, and there is no sign that the man who has dominated Russian politics as president or prime minister for more than 20 years and survived many crises, is about to be toppled.

Read more via Reuters

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