Almost three quarters of Russians have a bad opinion of the United States according to research by an influential independent pollster.
The Levada center survey shows 71 percent of Russians are upset with US policies, the highest figure in modern Russian history. In the early 1990s the number of Russians unhappy with US policies was under 10 percent. Huge peaks of dissatisfaction were registered in 2003 and in 2009, but this is the largest ever.
The attitude to the EU is also the worst in decades with about 60 percent of respondents saying they had a negative attitude towards it.
The news hardly comes as a surprise given the current situation in Ukraine and the US support to the openly anti-Russian regime in Kiev. It should be noted that Ukraine ranked second after the USA in the list of countries that Russians consider most hostile. Other hostile nations mentioned by Russians were the former Soviet republics in the Baltics – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - all considered to infringe the rights of Russian speakers.
The number of Russians who said they disapproved of Ukraine was under 50 percent and only slighter higher that those who said they had a mostly positive attitude towards the country. It was also well below the historical peak of over 60 percent in early 2009 – most likely as a result of an especially acute gas row between the two countries.
When researchers asked Russians to name five countries they considered the friendliest and allies, the top answers were Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Armenia and India. Belarus and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on forming a single economic bloc with Russia last week and China has recently sealed a major 30-year energy deal with Russian natural gas producers.
The poll was conducted in late May among 1600 adults in 45 different regions all over the Russian Federation.