Support The Moscow Times!

Most Russians Believe Foreigners View Country Favorably, Poll Shows

Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed on the Red Square

A poll published Wednesday revealed that a majority of Russians believe their country is perceived as "interesting" abroad, while few believe foreigners think Russia is "authoritarian."

The poll's results, which showed that most Russians believe the country is viewed favorably abroad, may be a surprise to some in light of the West's recent criticism of the country over ongoing events in Ukraine.

Conducted in May and June by the state-run Public Opinion Foundation on a representative sample of 1,600 adults, the poll found that more than two-thirds of Russians are convinced foreigners think Russia is an "interesting" country.

A similar — albeit smaller — proportion of the population believe the country is revered abroad because of its "strong power," "responsiveness" and "independence."

The survey also found that the population mostly agrees that foreigners do not perceive Russia as being "authoritarian," "stubborn" or "wasteful" — traits frequently voiced by Western leaders when criticizing Russia.

The results of the poll, which carries a margin of error that did not exceed 3.4 percent, clash with those of surveys conducted by Western pollsters and research organizations, signaling a distortion between what Russians believe the world's views to be and what they actually are.

A survey conducted by American pollster Gallup in the aftermath of Russia's annexation of Crimea in March revealed that 68 percent of Americans consider Russia an "enemy" or an "unfriendly" country, which represents a record high since 1999.

A study commissioned by the BBC World Service from GlobeScan and the Program on International Policy Attitudes published in June showed that attitudes toward Russia had soured in 13 out of 24 countries surveyed since the poll began in 2005. The study found a sharp increase in negative views of Russia in many Western countries, including the U.S., Spain and Germany.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more