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Poll: Growing Number Of Russians Believe Country 'On The Wrong Course'

A protester holds a sign reading "Putin Is A Thief" during a rally against raising the retirement age, in Samara on September 9.

A new opinion poll shows more Russia believe their country is moving in the wrong rather than the right direction, a first since 2006.

The poll by the independent Levada Center found 45 percent of those polled believe the country is “on the wrong course,” compared with 42 percent who approve of the country’s direction.

The poll results, published late on January 31, contrast sharply with results just a year ago, when only 28 percent of those polled said the country was moving in the wrong direction and 55 percent approved.

In 2006, the same poll found 48 percent of Russians disapproving of the direction of the country and only 34 satisfied.

It’s the latest bad news for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has suffered a slide in his ratings since he won reelection last year.

Last month, a state pollster said the public's trust in Putin had fallen to its lowest level in 13 years amid dismay over falling household incomes and unpopular government moves to raise the retirement age and the value-added tax.

With reporting by Reuters