President Vladimir Putin’s popularity at home has hit a near all-time record as the West appears to be losing the battle for the minds of Russians over the Ukraine crisis.

A whopping 80 percent of Russians approve of Mr. Putin’s work, according to the latest poll by Levada Centre, a respected independent pollster. This is just 5 percent short of the all-time high approval rating Mr. Putin enjoyed in 2008, when he was about to step down as President.

Today Russians want Mr. Putin to stay in office for another term. If elections were held this coming Sunday he would get the votes of 64 percent of Russians, another poll has found. Mr. Putin had such a record high level of electoral support only once in the past, in 2004, ahead of his triumphant re-election for a second term, said FOM pollster, which conducted the survey.

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