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World opinion of Russia is mixed

By Ana Robakidze
Monday, September 9
The Pew Research Center says global opinion on Russia is quite mixed. However, negative opinions of Russia are more common than positive ones, although views are mixed in many countries.

According the latest research carried out in 38 nations, a negative view of Russia is most common in Europe and the Middle East.

In the survey, “a median of just 36% among publics in 38 nations express a favorable view of Russia, compared with 39% who hold an unfavourable view, and 19% who do not offer an opinion. By contrast, the same survey found the international image of the U.S. to be much more positive, with a median of 63% expressing a favorable view of America.”

It appears that a favorable opinion of Russia has drastically slipped since 2007 and especially in Western countries. Surprisingly, there are two countries where more than half of those surveyed gave a positive remark to Russia. These countries are Greece and South Korea, with respectively 63% and 53% favorable remarks for Russia.

One of the key findings of the survey is that opinions on Russia vary based on the age of the respondent. Young people aged 18-29 are more likely to express positive views of Russia than people 50 and older. In contrast, according to the center, the image of both the U.S. and China is often more favorable among those under 30, as opposed to people 50 and older.

“Unfavorable views of Russia are particularly widespread in the Middle East. Clear majorities in Israel (77%), Jordan (70%), Turkey (66%), Egypt (64%) and the Palestinian territories (57%) hold a negative opinion of Russia. In Lebanon, 53% also view Russia unfavorably, although opinion varies by sect: 86% of Lebanese Sunni Muslims hold a negative opinion of Russia, compared with just 9% of Lebanese Shia Muslims. Among Lebanese Christians, 54% see Russia in an unfavorable light.”

The Pew Research Center carried out the survey based on telephone and face-to-face interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.