Russians' Attitude Toward the West Takes a Nosedive

The average Russian's regard for the West has deteriorated significantly since March, a new survey conducted by independent pollster the Levada Center showed Thursday.

The survey, which aimed to gauge popular opinions held by Russians toward numerous other countries, revealed recent surges in animosity felt toward the European Union, the U.S., and Ukraine.

The number of respondents with a "very negative attitude" toward the U.S. has nearly tripled since March, reaching 31 percent in May.

The survey also revealed a spike in negative feelings toward the EU, which 38 percent of respondents said they felt "mostly" negative about. The number of those who felt "very" negatively about the EU climbed from 6 percent in March to 22 percent in May.

Perhaps in a sign that the Ukraine crisis has played a role in worsening attitudes toward the West, the survey also showed that the number of those who felt "very" negatively about Ukraine has quadrupled since March. Whereas only four percent of respondents conveyed such animosity in March, that total had skyrocketed to 16 percent in May.

As hostility toward the west has skyrocketed, so have President Vladimir Putin's record-high approval ratings. A separate survey conducted by the Levada Center in May revealed that Putin's approval ratings were at 83 percent. Since the beginning of the year, his approval ratings have seen an 18-percent boost.

The survey on Russians' attitudes toward other countries was conducted among 1,600 people over 18 years of age in 130 cities across 45 Russian regions. The margin of error is no greater than 3.4 percent.

See also:

Russia's International Reputation Hits 9-Year Low, Poll Shows

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