Three months after he was inaugurated in a lavish Kremlin ceremony, fewer than one-in-ten of Dmitri Medvedev's fellow citizens believes that he is the real president of Russia.
Asked “who wields real power in Russia”, just 9 per cent of Russians said it was Medvedev, according to a poll released this week by the independent Levada Centre in Moscow.
More than a third, 36 per cent, thought former President Vladimir Putin, now prime minister, continues to run the country while 47 per cent said the two men are sharing power in a “tandem” arrangement.
Experts say that public confusion is natural because, unlike previous PM’s, Putin’s activities are heavily reported in the press.
Additionally, he continues to receive lead coverage on TV news programs as if he were still president. The latest poll suggests that Medvedev’s image is actually slipping with the Russian public as time goes on.
A similar poll conducted in March, after Medvedev was elected, showed that 20 per cent expected him to be the real leader of the country.