Is it time for Vladimir Putin to rule on the Moon? Russia is despised not only by countries that imposed sanctions against it, according to the latest Pew Research Center survey. The survey found that 26 out of 40 nations express more unfavorable opinions of Russia and its president than favorable.
As part of the survey, Pew Research Center surveyed over 45,000 people from 40 countries in the period between the end of March through May of this year. The survey was conducted via phone or on the streets.
As it turns out, even people of Venezuela share negative opinions of Russia – 51 percent, while only 15 percent of people of Turkey, with which Moscow has been trying to strengthen its economic relations lately, like their ‘partner’.
The highest negative sentiment is expressed not in the U.S., as you might think, even though Americans have significantly upped their negative sentiment towards their former Cold War enemy. The strongest negative sentiment comes from the people of Jordan and Poland both having 80 percent.
The reason for such a high figure of Jordan may have something to do with the Syrian war, the authors of the survey believe. Russia supports the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad, while Jordan is forced to house hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the long-drawn conflict.
Back in 2013, 37 percent of Americans liked Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin. But in 2015, only 22 percent of Americans are remaining fond of Russia, while 67 percent of American people express a negative sentiment toward Russia.
Before the tensions with the West began in 2014, Russians had expressed more positive sentiments toward Americans than vice versa. In 2010, during the ‘reset’ period, as many as 57 percent of Russians thought of the U.S. positively, while in 2013 this number decreased to 51 percent.
After the Ukrainian crisis began, the negative view of Russians toward the U.S. plummeted to 15 percent.
Russians are starting to like Americans
However, it was reported just a week ago that Russians express a more favorable opinion of the U.S. compared to January of this year. The percentage of Russians disliking Americans dropped by 11 percent since January, according to a survey conducted by Russian Levada Center in July.
As of July, 70 percent of Russians express an anti-American sentiment, while a positive sentiment is expressed by 19 percent of Russians.
Meanwhile, Russians also improved their attitude toward the European Union – 26 percent favorable (20 percent in January), 62 percent unfavorable (71 percent in January).
The survey was conducted in the period between July 17 and 20 and surveyed 1600 people from 134 residential areas and 46 regions of Russia.
Back to the Pew Research Center survey. Anti-Russian sentiment is also expressed in Israel (72 percent), Japan (73 percent) and Ukraine (72 percent). Both France and Germany share their negative opinion about Russia – 70 percent.
Africa likes Obama better than Putin
The world has an even stronger negative sentiment toward Vladimir Putin than to Russia, according to the Pew Research Center survey. The median value of unfavorable opinions toward the Russian president accounts for 58 percent in 39 countries.
Both North America and Western Europe despise Putin the most, while Spain has a record-breaking 92 percent of anti-Putin sentiment. Other countries that express anti-Putin views include Poland (87 percent), France (85 percent), Ukraine (84 percent), Canada (76 percent) and the United States (75 percent).
Besides, it must be noted that the Russian President significantly loses to his American counterpart across the whole world. In Africa, where Putin has the highest favorable numbers – 32 percent, the U.S. President Barack Obama is liked by 77 percent of people. Even in the Middle East, where Obama received the lowest number – 36 percent, there are only 25 percent of pro-Putin people.
To nobody’s surprise, U.S. citizens do not like Putin, while Russian citizens do not like Obama. Pew Research notes that Russians despised a U.S. president that much only at the times of the presidency of George W. Bush. When in 2003 Bush ordered U.S. troops to invade Iraq, only 8 percent of Russians approved his actions.
A few years ago, Obama was close to reaching a ‘reset’ in terms of relations between the two nations. In 2011, as many as 41 percent of Russians expressed a pro-Obama sentiment. As of today, the number has plummeted to 11 percent.
Russian ‘friends’ – Who are they?
Only three countries out of 39 express a pro-Russian sentiment – Vietnam, China and Ghana.
Vietnam turns out to be the most friendly country toward Russia – as many as 75 percent of people view Russia positively, and 70 percent of Vietnamese approve Vladimir Putin’s actions. In May, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited Vietnam and called his visit ‘the symbol of special relations between the two countries’.
Chinese like the Russian President more than they like Russia – 54 percent against 51 respectively. Pew Research also notes the imbalance in the opinions of Russians and Chinese towards one another. While Russia reached its record-breaking maximum of favorable sentiment toward China (79 percent), China views Russia rather ‘cold’ – over the past year, the number of Chinese expressing positive sentiment toward Russians dipped from 66 percent to 51.
Meanwhile, Ghana likes Russia more than any other African country: 56 percent of Ghanaian have a pro-Russian sentiment, while only 27 percent do not like the largest country in the world. In the beginning of June, Ghana reached a number of cooperation deals with Russia, including in the nuclear and oil-and-gas fields.