While foreign adventures have brought high approval ratings to both Putin and him United Russia party, recent events have tarnished, even rusted through that once impenetrable, Teflon surface.
Starting with the exposure of the two military security agents pictured and named, who tried to kill Sergei Skripal and his daughter brought global embarrassment by revealing the remarkable incompetence of Putin’s security agency and produced a new round of American sanctions.
The war in the Donblas region of Ukraine is costs millions of dollars a month.
On Sept. 7th, Syria accidentally shot down a Russian spy plane with 15 crew members on board.
Putin responded by selling s-300 advanced missile systems to Syria, infuriating Israel and leading to a possible showdown with Israel.]]In the past few weeks, the Kremlin lost four gubernatorial elections in spite of the tight control Putin has over the press, not allowing opposition candidates to advertise or use TV for promotion.
Voters came out in record numbers to vote against Putin’s Untied Russia party. In spite of personal endorsements from Putin, the party candidates lost.
Apparently, even rigging the vote count did not work.
Ne Sept 23rd, three more governors backed by Putin lost.
The difference has been voter turn out.
One key program endorsed by the Kremlin is the proposal to raise the retirement age t o65. Unfortunately, the average Russian only lives to 66. Many will never receive a pension at all.
Putin’s approval ratings have fallen by 15 percentage points. Only 48% of Russians trust the president or say they would vote for him today. The approval rating of the Kremlin’s United Russian party is below 30%
People no longer see Putin as their savor, blame him for spending too much money on making Russia “great again.”
Even the oligarchs are starting to worry. Confrontation with the West threatens their fortunes and the unchecked power of the FSB threatens their liberty and even their lives.
In the past, aligning oneself with Putin guaranteed success, either in politics or business. Today, standing with Putin carries risks.
All this does not mean Putin is about to be overthrown, but he may use violence, either outside or inside the country to rally support.
There are many scenarios where Putin could be overthrown: by the oligarchs who are facing sanctions due to Putin’s ventures, or at the voting stations, where he was once invincible.

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