Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Wagner Chief has Strong Support in Russia – Poll

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The survey was conducted from June 22 to 28 as Prigozhin led his Wagner fighters to briefly occupy the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin had to abort the mutiny against Russian president Vladimir Putin, seeking exile in Belarus under a deal with the leader. But his support among the Russian public has not fallen down, as per a poll published by Russia’s Levada Center.

Wagner

Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin. (AP)

The survey was conducted from June 22 to 28 as Prigozhin led his Wagner fighters to briefly occupy the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. While Vladimir Putin described Prigozhin’s mutiny attempt as “treason”, the threat raised speculation that the Russian leader’s position is weaker than what may appear.

Among the Russian public, a significant minority still supports the Wagner chief, it was revealed as Prigozhin had the approval of 58 per cent of the 1,643 respondents two days before the uprising, Levada reported. The polling body said those surveyed saw Prigozhin as a “patriot” and a “victorious general” owing to his fighters’ success in Ukraine.

Support for Prigozhin dropped to 31 percent during the mutiny and after it was aborted it remained at 29 percent, Levada reported. If Prigozhin was to run for president of Russia, 9 per cent respondents said that they were willing to vote for him- half of 18 per cent earlier.

While Russian president’s approval rose to 82 per cent from 81 per cent before the rebellion. Sixty-seven percent respondents told Levada in May that they believed Russia was moving in the right direction. But this figure fell to 53 per cent during the Wagner mutiny.

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