(Alexey Druzhinyn/RIA Novosti/Kremlin pool)

Russian President Vladimir Putin's approval ratings have been on the rise in his country, but he's less beloved in Ukraine, it seems.

Pollster Rating Group reports that just 16 percent of Ukrainians have a positive view of Putin and 76 percent see him negatively — up sharply from 40 percent in October.

In March, a poll from the Levada Center put Putin's approval rating in Russia at 80 percent, a three-year high.

Pro-Russian militants are battling government forces in Ukraine, mainly in the eastern part of the country, closest to Russia. But the violence has spread in the past few days, reaching the southern port city of Odessa. About 30 percent of Odessa's population is ethnically Russian, but polls have found most want to stay part of Ukraine.

Rating Group also reported that only 33 percent of Ukrainians said they regret the breakup of the Soviet Union, down from 46 percent in 2010.

The polling group, which has previously done work on behalf of USAID, says it surveyed 2,000 Ukrainian adults face-to-face from April 15 to 25 — before the current outbreak of violence but after the annexation of Crimea. It gave the margin of sampling error as plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.