Post-Wagner rebellion, fewer Americans expect Putin to be Russia's president in a year

Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
Carl BialikU.S. Politics Editor and Vice President of Data Science
June 30, 2023, 1:14 PM GMT+0

After the Wagner Group’s attempted coup in Russia, new polling by the Economist/YouGov finds that American opinion of Ukraine President Vlodymyr Zelensky remained strong while more Americans doubted Russia President Vladimir Putin's hold on power.

More Americans see Zelensky as a strong leader (76%), though a majority (63%) also view Putin that way. Just 11% have a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Putin, while a majority (52%) think favorably of Zelensky.

Most Americans have heard either a lot (20%) or a little (42%) about Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group, leading an attempted coup against the government of Russia. Only about one-third (32%) believe Putin will still be Russia’s president a year from now, down 11 percentage points from 43% a week earlier; about half (53%) expect Zelensky will continue to be Ukraine’s president in a year.

Asked about Russia’s war in Ukraine, many aren't sure which country is currently winning (21%) or think neither is winning (34%). But those who do see one side as ahead are more likely to say Ukraine (28%) is currently winning, compared to 16% who think Russia is.

Slightly more expect Ukraine (33%) than Russia (21%) to be the eventual winner when the war is over; 13% say they are equally likely to win.

Americans are divided in their views on U.S. military aid to Ukraine: 25% want aid increased, 28% want it to stay the same, and 26% want it decreased.

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on June 24 - 27, 2023 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens.

Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to November 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Getty