Majority of Russians say US administration ‘extremely hostile toward us’ - poll
The perception of the United States in Russia has drastically deteriorated and 59 percent of respondents in a recent poll said they think that the current Washington administration is extremely hostile toward Russia and its people.
On Monday, the Russian state-owned public opinion research center VTSIOM released the results of the poll on Russians’ attitude to the United States and things that are most often associated with this country. The poll was conducted in late July.
According to the statement, most Russians experience predominantly negative feelings when they think about the United States. Fifty-nine percent of respondents agreed that the current US administration was extremely hostile toward Russia, and another 31 percent described the attitude of the US authorities as “unfriendly.”
When asked about their own attitude toward the United States, 9 percent of respondents said it was negative, 6 percent said they would describe it as dislike, disgust or hatred, and 4 percent said they perceived the United States as an aggressor. Another 4 percent said that in their opinion the US was Russia’s “No. 1 enemy,” 2 percent noted the provocative nature of Washington’s policies and 2 percent said that the United States was constantly seeking world dominance.
The positive associations mentioned in the same poll were much more scarce and weak. Two percent of respondents said they considered the US to be a great superpower, 1 percent said that it was a strong country and another 1 percent agreed that it was a home to the free.
Ten percent of the Russian public said that they strongly associated the United States with its current president, Barack Obama.
The authors of the research noted a major shift in perception of the United States among the majority of the Russian public. “Twenty-five years ago, 13 percent of Russians described America as a free society, 15 percent as a technically advanced nation, and 20 percent said it was one that awarded personal effort with success. Now the share for figures for these answers fell to 5, 7 and 7 percent, respectively,” the research reads.
The Russian public currently concentrates on America’s drawbacks. Nine percent say that the US still has racial discrimination (1 percent in 1990) and 11 percent note the huge gap between the rich and the poor in the US (5 percent in 1990).
In February, the number of Russians with a negative attitude toward the US and the EU hit an all-time high, with 81 percent of respondents claiming this, compared to 44 percent just one year before. The number of those who perceived current relations between the two nations as hostile rose from 4 percent to 42 percent in the same year.
In the same poll, 40 percent of citizens said they wanted Russian authorities to improve relations with Western nations, but 36 percent said that Russia must further distance itself from the West.
In mid-July, the public attitude to the US in Russia improved slightly, but still remained very negative. Seventy percent of Russians said they had negative sentiments about the United States and only 19 percent of respondents said they had a positive attitude toward the US.