Moscow: Fifty-five percent of Russian citizens have named Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the most popular politician of 2010, a year-end survey has revealed.
Strongman Putin, who throughout the year was in the limelight for different reasons, was voted as the most popular politician of 2010 by 55 percent people in the survey carried out last weekend by VTsIOM pollster.
It covered 1,600 respondents in 43 regions and had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.
President Dmitry Medvedev was second with 37 percent, while the flamboyant leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, became third most popular politician with five percent vote.
Putin, who heads the ruling United Russia party, improved his stint from last year, when he led with 50 percent of the vote.
In 2010, among other reasons, he was popular for dousing unprecedented wildfires from a special fire-fighting aircraft and driving a small yellow Lada car along a new Siberian highway.
Medvedev was second in 2009 with 33 percent vote.
Both the leaders have left open the possibility that they will run for the country`s top job in 2012.
Also, James Cameron`s "Avatar" was voted by the majority of Russians as the movie of the year.