President Vladimir Putin's high approval rating infuses quite a strong irritation among his opponents and understanding among the majority of the Russian population.
Despite the serious economic problems associated not only with the so-called "anti-Russian" sanctions and plummeting prices for energy resources, but also with the inevitable repercussions and echoes of the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the president's influence remains equally firm in many spheres of Russians' lives.
Indeed, Russia has lost some of the platforms used to spread influence on the international situation (G8, PACE) and found itself a whole pool of overt and die-hard opponents comprised of US satellites (Canada, Australia, Poland) and Ukraine, whose politicians have literally declared war on Moscow.
Indeed, despite the fact that the situation has been turned "topsy-turvy" and the real aggressor, who threatened to destroy the Russian population on his territory, accused Russia of being the source of aggression, was backed by so-called advanced states. And the "advanced states" have found themselves in an awkward situation, forced to be under the thumb of US whims, although it is contrary to their own economic interests.
The population of countries whose governments criticize Russia, even under the pressure of anti-Russian propaganda, show a rather pragmatic approach to problems related to information confrontation with the Russian leader. No wonder Putin is regularly topping the mass media rankings based on independent surveys. Nonetheless, the population of the US and Europe, when comparing its own politicians with the Russian president, sends a message to them that they need to "reach" his level.
Of course, such complimentary positioning of Putin made Western politicians grow envious, naturally instigating their anti-Russian attitude and rendering rapprochement between Russia, the European Union and the US impossible at the moment.
Plans to exploit social problems in Russia in order to turn the population away from the supreme authority failed and did not play the role Washington had plotted. Surprisingly for the Western establishment, even groups originally indifferent to Putin have now mobilized around the president.
In particular, the US made several mistakes that raised Putin's approval ratings: it declared a Cold War on Russia and reanimated the long-rusty mechanisms of the Soviet immunity to aggression of the United States; it tried to employ the "sanctions effect" and, as a result, encouraged diversification of Russian trade turnover, it tried to isolate Russia politically, expelling it from the G8 format and conduced realization of a whole set of integration projects within the framework of BRICS, SCO, EurAsEC.
In general, Western authorities lack experts possessing real knowledge and understanding of Russia. The opinions of those who had been consulting American presidents and heads of European states prior to the collapse of the USSR have been ignored. They, by the way, are the ones pointing out the unwise conduct of the current heads of Western states.
It is undeniable, the more intensively the US and the EU try to "press" on the Russian president, the more solid ranks of supporters he will get.