Graphic Truth: Putin's Highs and (Recent) Lows
In nearly twenty years of running Russia, Vladimir Putin has had his highs and his lows. Some of his greatest hits, from a popularity perspective, include his handling of several terrorism crises early in his tenure, his thrashing of Georgia in a brief 2008 war (when he was only pretending not to be the guy in charge of Russia) and, of course, the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, which sent his approval ratings from fresh lows back up to stratospheric highs. But since then, he has come down to earth again — if a mid-60s approval rating can be called "earth" these days. A sluggish economy has played a part, but nothing dented his appeal more than a deeply unpopular pension reform plan unveiled last summer. Here's a look at Putin's ups and downs over the years.