Timeline of Putin's approval and aggression abroad
- Timeline of Putin's approval and aggression abroad
- Sept 1999
- October 1999
- November 1999
- January 2000
- March 2000
- January 2006
- August to October 2006
- Jan 2007 to July 2007
- February 2008
- April 2008
- August 2008
- September 2008
- October 2008
- November 2008
- January 2009
- April 2009
- December 2010
- March 2012
- January 2013
- November 2013 to March 2014
- June 2014
- July 2014
- July 2018
- November 2021
- February 2022
- September 2022
- Note about the data
"Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin refused Wednesday to rule out a possible ground war against the rebellious southern province. Bombs destroy apartment blocks in Moscow, Buynaksk and Volgodonsk. More than 200 people are killed. Moscow blames Chechens who in turn blame Russian secret services."
"Russia's military leaders have a simple explanation for the bombs raining down on Chechnya. They say they are copying NATO's air campaign against Yugoslavia."
The second consecutive day of air strikes revived memories of Moscow's ill-fated military campaign against Chechen separatists from 1994 to 1996, but the Kremlin ruled out a full-scale war.
"Russian ground troops entered Chechnya Thursday and took positions on strategic heights near the border, reportedly advancing as far as six miles into the breakaway republic. The moves followed a week of air strikes on the Chechen capital, Grozny, that sent nearly 80,000 Chechens fleeing in fear. It raised concern that Russia is on the verge of another full-scale war in Chechnya just three years after a humiliating defeat there."
To the Editor: ... As a former Hungarian freedom fighter, I know how the citizens of Chechnya and the residents of Grozny feel, because that is exactly how we felt 43 years ago. I also know what they think of the passivity of the free world.
I, too, am ashamed of the deafening silence coming from the United Nations and Washington.
The only reassurance I can offer the Chechen freedom fighters is the knowledge that tanks cannot kill ideals and that if they do not give up, they will eventually gain their liberty.
To the Editor:
Soldiers would come from outside Bosnia with planes and tanks and would kill, rape, expel and steal. They would encircle cities and keep them under siege. Yes, in Bosnia, they were Serbs. But the arms were the same, the instructors were the same, and the credo was the same.
It is sad to hear how swiftly President Clinton condemned the shootings in Armenia in light of the silence about Russian crimes in Chechnya.
Putin's role in misleading the public about the war in Chechnya was described in a news report.
Putin's role in the blatantly misleading information issued by the government about the Chechnya offensive also has been criticized. His talent for creating legends has been evident in his explanations about the war. For example, Putin told the writers group that the military had been open with the news media, when the military has in fact hidden information about casualties, combat events, attacks on civilians and its goals and methods.
Felix Svetov, a writer who spent time in Stalin's prison camps as a child and who lost his father in the purges, was present at the writers meeting. He said Putin's comment "does not correspond with reality." Putin is a typical KGB type, he added. "If the snow is falling, they will calmly tell you, the sun is shining."
Putin is elected President for the first time.
"The cable disclosed the U.S. suspicion that Russian intelligence was behind two simultaneous explosions on the Georgian-Russian pipeline on Jan. 22, 2006. Later in the same day another explosion took out a high voltage line based in Russia that supplied Georgia with electricity."
"There was no response from the Russian government for four days," Mr. Bokeria said. "For one week in 2005 Georgia was left with no gas and electricity from Russia, causing shortages. We believe this was an act of Russian sabotage."
Explosions in southern Russia this morning severed the country's natural gas pipelines to Georgia, swiftly plunging Russia's neighbor into heat and electricity shortages and causing a diplomatic flare-up between the nations.
The bombings of two Russian-controlled natural gas pipelines high in the Caucasus Mountains this week - by one estimate sending a fireball nearly 200 meters into the sky - paralyzed Georgia and sent a message straight to Western Europe, which depends on Russian natural gas.
August to October 2006
Georgian parliament voted to integrate Georgia into NATO. Russia is not pleased.
"The Georgian parliament votes unanimously for a bill to integrate Georgia into NATO expanding upon the Partnership for Peace. This deteriorates relations with Russia which imposes sanctions and deports hundreds of Georgians who are deemed illegal immigrants. Georgia arrests four Russian army officers for spying."
Jan 2007 to July 2007
Russia disapproved of Estonia's decisions to relocate the Bronze soldier of Tallinn, a Soviet era statue from the city center to a new gravesite¹. Estonian parliament, ministries, banks, and newspapers were targeted with DDoS attacks².
President Bush threw the NATO summit meeting here off-script on Wednesday by lobbying hard to extend membership to Ukraine and Georgia, but he failed to rally support for the move among key allies. Mr. Bush’s position that Ukraine and Georgia should be welcomed into a Membership Action Plan, or MAP, that prepares nations for NATO membership directly contradicted German and French government positions stated earlier this week.
Putin’s decree caps Russia’s policy of creeping annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia over the last few years. The April 16 decree turns an unofficial policy into a semi-official and fully open one. It marks the first overt Russian move to change the post-1991 internationally recognized borders and revert de facto to those of the Soviet-era. Faced with this potentially momentous development, the responses of the European authorities range from silence by most of them to evasive comments by the few that have spoken at all. The decree (Interfax, April 16, 17) instructs Russia’s ministries and other government bodies to work directly with their counterparts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia on a full range of bilateral cooperation activities; recognize the “legal” acts issued by Abkhaz and South Ossetian authorities; recognize entities registered under Abkhaz and South Ossetian “laws”; and provide legal assistance on matters of civil and criminal law directly to Abkhaz and South Ossetian authorities and residents (most of whom have previously been turned into purported Russian citizens through “passportization”). On April 3 Putin wrote a letter in response to an appeal from Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s de facto leaders, addressing them as “Presidents” and announcing that Russia would take “not declarative, but practical steps.” Timed to the NATO summit in Bucharest, where Putin arrived that same day, his letter could be taken as implying that Russia would take those steps in Abkhazia and South Ossetia if Georgia moved toward NATO membership. Following the NATO summit, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov and the Chief of the Armed Forces’ General Staff, General Yurii Baluyevsky, warned on April 8 and 11, respectively, that Russia would take measures against Georgia. Responses in the West were few and feeble, apparently emboldening Moscow into proceeding with this set of measures.
The United States, Britain, France, and Germany issued a joint statement after the UN Security Council meeting on April 23 saying they were “highly concerned” over Russia’s move to establish legal links with Georgia’s breakaway regions.
The war in Georgia lasted 5 days.
"On August 8, 2008, Russian forces began the invasion of Georgia, marking the start of Europe's first twenty-first century war. The conflict itself was over within a matter of days, but the repercussions of the Russo-Georgian War continue to reverberate thirteen years on, shaping the wider geopolitical environment."
Russian planes dropped bombs this month within 15 meters (50 feet) of a pipeline that British oil company BP was in the process of reopening through Georgia, according to witnesses.
Residents on Friday showed Reuters correspondents deep craters alongside the pipeline, which runs between Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, on the Caspian Sea, and Georgia’s Black Sea port of Supsa.
Reuters reported on August 12 that Georgia had accused Russia of bombing the pipeline, although without causing serious damage. Russia denied any such attacks.
Georgian officials say Russian warplanes dropped bombs in an early Saturday raid close to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which pumps some 850,000 barrels of crude a day—or 1% of total global oil demand—from Azerbaijan to the Mediterranean. The bombs narrowly missed the line, but one exploded just 10 feet away from it.
"The Kremlin supports the separatist movements in Abkhazia and South Ossetia to disqualify Georgia from NATO and to stymie its western ambitions. Russian Defence Minister Ivanov declared that Georgia would automatically become an adversary to Russia if it joined NATO. On April 20, a Russian jet shoots down a Georgian reconnaissance drone flying over Abkhazia."
"Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed treaties with Georgia's South Ossetia and Abkhazia on Wednesday that commit Moscow to defend the breakaway regions from any Georgian attack."
The Russian daily Izvestia reported on October 16 that a memo had been sent to all police stations in Moscow warning of terrorist threats deep within Russian territory.
“The Georgian secret services are plotting explosions in residential apartment buildings in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi,” the newspaper reported, quoting the alleged memo. “Refugees from Abkhazia, living in these cities, will carry out these terrorist acts. Explosives will be brought to the scenes in October 2008.”
Davit Bakradze, the Georgian parliamentary chairperson, said that the report was “nonsense,” but added that such disinformation had “a very dangerous” context, recalling that the second war in Chechnya started after a series of explosions hit apartment blocks in Moscow, Buynaksk, and Volgodonsk in September 1999.
Vladimir Pronin, the head of the Moscow Police Department, has declined to comment on the reports. He did say, however, that there was no reason for panic.
NATO will probably not offer membership to Ukraine and Georgia for years to come, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday before an alliance meeting next week that is expected to discuss the issue. The Bush administration has supported putting the two former Soviet republics on a formal path, called a Membership Action Plan, toward joining NATO. But there is considerable European opposition, which has grown since Georgia’s war with Russia in August. NATO leaders promised Ukraine and Georgia at a summit in Bucharest in April that they would one day join the Western defense alliance but declined to offer them the formal path toward membership because of French and German objections.
… recently some western European media sources, including those in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, were publishing disinformation about Georgia as if rights of ethnic minorities were violated in the country.
“There is no secret that Russia spends a great deal of resources to undermine Georgia’s reputation,” Parliamentary Chairperson, Davit Bakradze, said in a response to this allegation by MP Tortladze. “Therefore, those defamatory publications, which portray Georgia as an oppressor in the eyes of the European society, should not remain without a response.”
He also told the parliamentary committees on European integration and foreign affairs to work closely with the Anti-Crisis Council on the matter. MP Tortladze is a chairman of the Anti-Crisis Council.
"Gazprom cut off all supplies for Ukraine's use on January 1, after weeks of negotiations on outstanding debts and prices for 2009. Gazprom proposed to raise the price to $250 from $179.5. Ukraine said it was prepared to pay $201 and wanted to raise gas transit fees. Gazprom then raised the price again to $458."
"By 2009, Russia had severely disabled the Chechen separatist movement and large-scale fighting ceased."
Russia officially ends "Operations" in Chechnya.
Putin's approval and disapproval remains roughly the same for Putin until he announces he may run for president again.
Putin hints that he may run for re-election, which would make it his third term. Protests had already begun and were happening regularly in and outside of Russia.
Putin's popularity would only decline and disapproval rise from 19% to 36% just before he retook office in 2012.
Putin is elected for a third term, but his disapproval remains high and approval low. Russians protested as he was sworn after the election.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating fell this month to the lowest level since 2000, according to a poll by the independent Levada Center.
Sixty-two percent of Russians approve of Putin’s performance, the lowest since June 2000, according to the Jan. 18-21 poll of 1,596 people by the Moscow-based Levada Center. That’s down from 72 percent two years ago
November 2013 to March 2014
Around this time, Ukrainians protest their leader Viktor Yanukovych's decision not to join the EU in exchange for money from Russia. After police begin beating and killing Ukrainian protestors, protests grow and culminate after over 100 Ukrainians are killed, mostly by snipers that evidence suggests were on or inside buildings. Yanukovych flees Ukraine with the help of Putin.
Emails show collaborators coordinated with the Kremlin and media reported about "separatists," who wanted to secede.
From the earlier data analysis from Hoaxlines:
On March 1, 2014, the Russian parliament approved a troop deployment to Ukraine. By March 3, Kremlin-aligned groups had stormed the regional government building in Donetsk. The demonstrators demanded a split from Ukraine, but the protests had largely failed to produce the Kremlin's desired effect, according to leaked emails from the time between Russian and pro-Russian actors.
The strong response from Ukrainian law enforcement had deterred pro-Russian figures who emailed collaborators inside of Russia to complain about their struggle. Western leaders condemned Russia's actions in Ukraine on March 3, 2014.
At the height of the Ukraine-Nazi content surge on March 4, 2014, Putin claimed the military exercises were over. The following day as "Russian soldiers [blockaded] Ukrainian navy command ship Slavutych at the Crimean port of Sevastopol," Putin scoffed at requests to remove Russian forces from Crimea, claiming they were not under his command.
Within days, an international voting observation team would be refused entry to Crimea with a warning shot. By April 2014, pro-Russian actors would seize the Regional Administration of Donetsk and declare it a "republic."
Stories about "Ukrainian Nazis" were rare before 2014 when they surged at the moment when Russia's plans faltered
NATO will stop short of approving a formal step to membership for Georgia at its summit in September, officials said on Wednesday, dodging a possible confrontation with Moscow over the alliance’s expansion to Russia’s neighbours. At that time, NATO allies, led by France and Germany, rebuffed U.S. demands that Georgia and Ukraine be allowed into the MAP while promising the two ex-Soviet republics would join NATO one day. Ukraine later dropped its goal of NATO membership but Georgia remains keen to join.
"Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was travelling over conflict-hit Ukraine on 17 July 2014 when it disappeared from radar."
Investigations concluded Russia was responsible.
Putin's approval rating tumbles and disapproval rating rises. "The main reason for the slump in ratings is the government's proposal to increase the retirement age from 60 to 65 for men and from 55 to 60 for women," according to an article from Foreign Affairs from 2018.
Protests ensue. Younger Russians led the protests because older Russians were too afraid. NBC News reported that protestors marched toward Red Square saying "Down with the czar!"
Putin's approval did not recover from the proposal to increase pension ages. Only in November 2021, with the heavily publicized buildup at the border does his approval increase and disapproval decrease.
Russia invaded Ukraine for a second time. Putin's approval peaked after the invasion, remaining high despite well-documented war crimes.
In September 2022, when Russia "partially" mobilized 300,000 soldiers, Putin's approval finally takes a hit and declines. Widely reported Russian losses may also play a factor here, too.
Share of Russians who feel the ‘special operation’ has been successful fell from 73% in May to 53% in September
Note about the data
- The data were collected by the autonomous non-profit organization the Yuri Levada Analytical Center, a Russian non-governmental organization that has been polling since the 1980s. The Ministry of Justice includes the Center in its register of non-profit organizations performing the functions of a "foreign agent," which often means a group received money from somewhere outside of Russia and reports accurately.
- Although data from sources under Kremlin control must always be viewed with skepticism due to potential state interference, Levada is referenced by scholars in publications such as Foreign Affairs.