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Most Russians See U.S. as Negative Global Force

A total of 29 percent of respondents this year said the U.S.-Russia relationship was “hostile” compared to 39 percent a year earlier, according to Levada.

The number of Russians hostile to the United States has risen dramatically in recent years with 71 percent of people rating the U.S. as a negative force in the world, according to independent pollster Levada Center.

The figure is up sharply from a similar survey carried out two years ago, when 50 percent of Russians said the U.S. played a negative role in international affairs, Levada said in a statement late Tuesday.

While the jump was significant, other data in the survey portrayed a more nuanced picture, suggesting that attitudes toward the U.S. within Russia had improved slightly since last year when they plummeted to post-Cold War lows amid the crisis in the Ukraine and worsening ties between Moscow and the West.

A total of 29 percent of respondents this year said the U.S.-Russia relationship was “hostile” compared to 39 percent a year earlier, according to Levada.

For the European Union over the same period, the figure dropped from 16 to 12 percent.

Anti-American sentiment has become a mainstay of Russian state-run media in recent years and President Vladimir Putin regularly accuses the U.S. of trying to impose its values on the rest of the world.

But a minority of Russians still harbor positive views of the West, with an increasing number keen to leave Russia for good. In a separate poll released by the Levada Center on Wednesday, 23 percent of respondents said they would like to live or work abroad, up from 18 percent one year ago.

Earlier this week, U.S. Embassy spokesman Will Stevens told the Znak.ru news website that the number of Russians entering the U.S. green card lottery has increased 58 percent since 2012.

The Levada poll about perceptions of the West surveyed 1,600 people with a 3.4 percent margin of error while the poll about desires to live abroad surveyed 800 people with a 4.1 percent margin of error.

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