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Anti-American Sentiment Rising in Russia

The United States Capitol dome.

The number of Russians who harbor negative views toward the United States has skyrocketed amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, according to a poll published Monday by the Russian state-run Public Opinion Foundation.

Thirty-seven percent of the poll's respondents said they had an unfavorable opinion of the U.S., compared with just 18 percent in February last year, prior to the Ukraine crisis.

Correspondingly, the number who have a good opinion of the U.S. has declined, from 23 percent in early 2013 to 11 percent currently. Seventy-eight percent said the U.S. plays a negative role in the world, compared with 53 percent in February 2013. The number who believe the U.S. plays a positive role in the world plummeted from 19 percent last year to 7 percent, and 36 percent said U.S.'s influence was dwindling.

There has also been a spike in hostility toward U.S. President Barack Obama, with 40 percent saying they have a negative view of him, compared with just 8 percent in April 2011.

Sixty-four percent of respondents described current relations between the U.S. and Russia as "bad," and 70 percent said the situation worsened within the last year. As for which country was to blame for damaged relations, 37 percent said the U.S. was mostly to blame, while another 16 percent said the U.S. alone was responsible. Only 12 percent said both countries played a part.

Fifty percent said Russia should strive to smooth things over with the U.S., compared with 16 percent who said Moscow should not do so. Sixty-two percent said it was in the interests of both countries to improve ties.

The poll was conducted on Nov. 16 among 1,500 adults in 100 cities across Russia. The margin of error did not exceed 3.6 percent.

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