Russian President Vladimir Putin is fast becoming a more polarizing figure among Americans than ever before as both his approval and disapproval ratings are soaring.
Despite receiving highly negative press over his government’s alleged sponsoring of hacks on the U.S. electoral process last year, a Gallup poll shows 22 percent of U.S. citizens hold a favorable view of Putin. Although far from his career-best U.S. approval rating of 41 percent in the nascency of his first term in 2002, his approval is at a peak for his current third term.
Putin’s disapproval rating, however, is 72 percent—equaling his record from 2015.
According to Gallup, different views of Putin are a partisan matter in the U.S., with independents warming to him over the last two years (by 11 points) and Republicans, once the bulwark of criticism against Putin, warming to him even more strongly (by 20 points.) He lost favor with Democrats by five points.
Republican President Donald Trump has reiterated his personal admiration for Putin’s leadership skills and vowed to seek improved relations with Russia. He has not indicated exactly how he envisions “getting along” with Russia and at what cost.
Russia itself, however, has reached a record-high unfavorability rating among Americans (70 percent), with only 28 percent of U.S. citizens holding a positive view of the country.
Dead men tell no tales.
These nine Russians have either been murdered, died suddenly or vanished into the depths of the Lubyanka prison in the last two months
1: Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN. officially of a heart attack. Feb 20, 2017.
2: Sergei Krivov, employee of Russian consulate in NY. Officially of heart attack despite his skull having been bashed in. May have fallen from consulate roof. Feb. 15, 2017
3, 4, 5: Kaspersky employee Ruslan Stoyanov and FSB officers who specialised in cyber security, Sergei Mikhailov and Dmitry Dokuchayev. Sergei Mikhailov were charged with treason. Mikhailov was dragged out of a meeting with a bag over his head, and is now now almost certainly dead. Odds are the other two gentlemen followed close behind. Jan 23, 2017
6: Andrey Melanin, Russian Consul in Greece was found dead in his Athens apartment. Jan 9, 2017
7: Oleg Erovinkin, a former KGB General who had helped Chris Steele assemble the infamous dossier. Found dead in the trunk of his car in Moscow. Dec. 26, 2016
- Andrey Karlov, Russian Ambassador to Turkey, murdered on live television. Dec. 20 2016
- Petr Polshikov Russian diplomat, was found shot to death in Moscow. Dec. 20, 2016 (just after Karlov’s murder).
Some have been connected to the Steele dossier,(but not all have been confirm yet). Nonetheless, this is a lot of sudden exits.
Various sources including Newsday
More tests needed on Russian UN ambassador’s cause of death
A picture of Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, is displayed while people sign condolences books at the Russian Mission to the U.N. in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. The city medical examiner was expected to perform an autopsy Tuesday on Russia’s ambassador to the U.N., who died a day earlier after falling ill at his office at Russia’s U.N. mission. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
NEW YORK (AP) — Medical examiners who performed an autopsy on Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations said Tuesday that more tests are needed to determine how and why he fell ill in his office and later died.
Vitaly Churkin, who died Monday at a hospital at age 64, had been Russia’s envoy at the U.N. since 2006. He was the longest-serving ambassador on the Security Council, the U.N.’s most powerful body.
City medical examiners concluded Churkin’s death needed further study, which usually includes toxicology and other screenings. Those can take weeks.
The medical examiner is responsible for investigating deaths that occur by criminal violence, by accident, by suicide, suddenly or when the person seemed healthy or in any unusual or suspicious manner. Most of the deaths investigated by the office are not suspicious.
Churkin’s case was referred to the medical examiner’s office by the hospital.
Moscow has not given a date for Churkin’s funeral.
Churkin’s death brought condolences from diplomats and leaders around the world, with Republican U.S. President Donald Trump calling him “an accomplished diplomat.”
“While American officials sometimes disagreed with their Russian counterparts, Ambassador Churkin played a crucial role in working with the United States on a number of key issues to advance global security,” Trump said in a statement.
Churkin’s counterparts mourned him as a master in their field, saying he was deeply knowledgeable about diplomacy and dedicated to his country while also being a personable and witty colleague.
The U.N. Security Council held a moment of silence Tuesday in Churkin’s memory. The honor was announced by the ambassador from the country holding the Security Council’s rotating presidency, Ukraine, where Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and has backed separatist rebels fighting government forces.
Ukrainian Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko didn’t add his own statement to the tributes to Churkin, though Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin gave condolences when reporters asked afterward.
Associated PressFebruary 21, 2017