17/05/2014 15:24 BST | Updated 17/05/2014 15:59 BST

Vladimir Putin's Approval Rating Has Reached 'Six Year High' During Ukraine Crisis

The Ukraine crisis has bolstered Russian president Vladimir Putin's poll ratings to a six-year high, it has been reported.

While the West has accused Putin of inciting violence by pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country after he invaded and occupied the Crimea, support for Putin rose from 82% to 85.9% between now and April.

Press TV, the Iranian news station, reported the poll, conducted by All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, showed Putin's support has increased by a third since the start of the year.


Putin's approval rating is nearly 86%, according to the poll

Support for his United Russia part has risen from around 40% to 60%, which is also a six-year high, the TV station also reported.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that 52% of respondents cited events in Ukraine as a major factor in their views. The only time the figure was higher was April, 2008, it has been reported.

It quoted a statement accompanying the poll that said: "The approval of the actions of the President of the Russian Federation has been growing for five consecutive months already.

"Since April, Putin's rating rose from 82.2 percent to 85.9 percent, and since the beginning of the year – by more than a third.

“Thus, this figure is virtually identical to the one recorded six years ago."

Earlier this month, Putin attended a victory parade to celebrate Russia's annexation of Crimea, which Kiev had described as "flagrant violation" of its sovereignty.

He hailed the peninsula's "historic return to the motherland" and said it was "historical justice" to "the memory of our ancestors".

Earlier this week, referendums in the east of Ukraine staged by pro-Russian separatists on independence, which were condemned as "farcical" by the international community, returned a yes vote, with 90% in favour.

People on the ground said the vote was shambolic, with long queues and no independent observation to ensure it was fair.