Putin, hit by ratings drop, tells Russians a better life awaits
President Vladimir Putin told Russians on Thursday there were signs that years of falling real wages, which have dented his popularity, were drawing to an end and that a government programme would deliver higher living standards. Putin, 66, in power as president or prime minister since 1999, was re-elected by a landslide last year but his high ratings have slipped over pension reforms. The government raised the retirement age to 65 from 60 for men and to 60 from 55 for women, a deeply unpopular move that has aggravated grumbling over six years of falling real incomes.
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