Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia is the most popular politician in the country this year, according to the latest survey conducted by (VCIOM) or the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, the oldest and leading marketing and opinion research firm run by the state.

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin – politician of the year

According to the survey, 44% of respondents believe that Pres. Putin is the politician of the year followed by Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu with an 8% share. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ranked third with a 7% share.

Six percent (6%) of the respondent think Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the outspoken leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, is the most popular while 5% said it was Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Vladimir Putin’s popularity ratings

Vladimir Putin maintained his popularity in Russia given the fact that he was the most popular politician with 54% last year, but his popularity rating dropped by 10%. The popularity rating of his fellow politicians also declined. Last year, Zhirinovsky had a 7% rating, Medvedev had 16%, and Shoygu had 13%.

The Russian Public Opinion Research Center polled 1,600 in 130 cities and towns across the 42 Russian regions from December 14 and 15. The pollster said the margin of error of the statistics is not more than 3.4%

Meanwhile, RIA Novosti, the state-run news agency in Russia described the tepid remark of President Vladimir Putin regarding Medvedev as “snub” when asked to name the Prime Minister as a potential candidate to lead the Communist Party.

Putin’s remarks for Medvedev

During his annual mid-December news conference, Vladimir Putin said Medvedev “has an extensive record of work in the civil service, and today he is getting involved in economic work, as well.”

Commenting on the remarks of Putin, political analyst Mikhail Rostovsky said, “Putin spoke condescendingly [of Mr. Medvedev], which is much worse than any insult,” He sent him a clear message: “Get used to the fact that your place is now with the ranks of second-rate or even third-rate politicians.”

Commentators also noted that Putin’s avoidance in mentioning Medvedev’s name during the conference is the normal practice of the former KGB officer when discussing his political opponents. Medvedev became the president of Russia in 2008. He promised to modernize Russia and to restore confidence in the rule of law, but failed to deliver meaningful changes during his term.

During the latter part of his presidency, Medvedev admitted that skeptics were right when they projected that he would not succeed in eliminating problems, particularly the deep-rooted corruption in Russia.