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Russians Begin to Think Better of the U.S. – Poll

Nineteen percent of respondents said they have a “very positive” or “mostly positive” opinion of the U.S., up from 15 percent in May.

After more than a year of sharply deteriorating Russian opinions of the United States, more Russians said they had positive feelings about their former Cold War nemesis in July than during the previous poll in May, a survey by independent pollster the Levada Center revealed on Wednesday.

While 70 percent of respondents still said that their attitude to the U.S. was “mostly negative” or “very negative,” that figure was 3 percent less than three months ago, and 11 percent less than at the beginning of the year.

Nineteen percent of respondents said they have a “very positive” or “mostly positive” opinion of the U.S., up from 15 percent in May.

At the same time, more Russians (62 percent) now have negative feelings about the European Union, compared to 59 percent in May. On average, Russians have a similar attitude to Ukraine, with 60 percent feeling negative about their neighbor this month.

The poll was conducted among 1,600 adults around the country, with a margin of error not exceeding 3.4 percent.

The radical shift in attitudes toward the U.S., EU and Ukraine occurred at the beginning of 2014, when a series of pro-EU mass protests in central Kiev toppled Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.

In the aftermath, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, prompting Western countries to impose sanctions on it. In addition, a civil war in Ukraine's east between pro-Russian insurgents and the central government in Kiev has resulted in more than 6,000 fatalities and more than one million people being displaced.

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