Millions more Russians living in poverty as economic crisis bites (theguardian.com)
"An average of 19.2 million Russians - or 13.4% of the population - were living last year on less than 9,452 roubles ($139) a month, the minimum subsistence level determined by the Russian government in the fourth quarter."
The July approval and trust ratings
Vladimir Putin's approval rating at record levels (theguardian.com)
"Vladimir Putin's approval rating is at record levels, with nine out of 10 Russians saying they have a positive view of their president. Putin had an approval of 87% in July, and an all-time high of 89% in June, according to Levada Centre polling."
Why do Russians love Putin so much? (aljazeera.com)
"Vladimir Putin first stepped into power 15 years ago. His leadership has been bolstered by portraying himself as a patriotic and unshakable president, with unmatchable athletic ability."