Walls of Kremlin
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Walls of Kremlin in Moscow
Following a few months of political shocks in Russia, voters have become used to surprises. But opinion seems to be divided on whether restarting the clock on time spent in the Kremlin is worth supporting, says a new survey.

Pollsters at the Levada Center report that 48 percent of their respondents support the nullification of terms, and 47 percent are against, with 5 percent undecided.

Levada also revealed that Putin's approval rating is on the decline: It stood at 69 percent in February but decreased to 63 percent in March.

Named for its founder, the late Yuri Levada, the polling company is regarded by many in Russia as being effectively a liberal opposition think tank. In 2016, it was accused of "performing the functions of a foreign agent" by authorities, and it has received western funding in the past but claims to have stopped this practice after 2013. A rival state-owned outfit VTsIOM is accused of similar bias by Kremlin critics.

Meanwhile, 46 percent of those questioned indicated they would like to see Putin as president after 2024, with 40 percent against.

According to Levada Center Director Lev Gudkov, young, educated people and Muscovites are the most opposed to resetting the presidential term limits.

A nationwide vote on the wider constitutional changes had been set for April 22, but was postponed indefinitely this week. Previous polls showed a large majority ready to back the amendments, which also include a mention of God, enshrining marriage as between a man and a woman, and a prohibition on "falsification of history." In addition, the new constitution would see a redistribution of powers between the various branches of government.

Earlier this month, an amendment to nullify the terms of President Putin was proposed by State Duma deputy Valentina Tereshkova, of the ruling United Russia party, who was previously better known as the first woman in space. Her suggestion was accepted, then passed through the State Duma, the legislative assemblies of all Russian regions and eventually approved by the Constitutional Court.