Russia & the West: Perceptions of each other in the view of Russians

The survey took place between 19 and 22 June 2015 and was conducted throughout all of Russia in both urban and rural settings. The survey was carried out among 1600 people over the age of 18 in 134 localities of 46 of the country’s regions. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the number of participants along with data from previous surveys. The statistical error of these studies does not exceed 3.4%. 

IN YOUR OPINION, AFTER THE FOREIGN POLICY CHANGES IN RUSSIA AND THE WORLD AT THE END OF THE 80S, DID RUSSIA END UP AS THE LOSER IN THE STANDOFF WITH THE WEST OR DID RUSSIA WIN AS MUCH AS ANYONE ELSE?

 

Apr.

97

Apr.

07

Jul.

10

May.

11

Jun.

15

Russia ended up as the loser in the standoff with the West

40

31

27

29

29

Since the standoff was resolved, Russia won just as much as everyone else did

21

33

43

42

36

It is difficult to say

38

36

29

29

35

IN YOUR OPINION, CAN RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE WEST BE GENUINELY FRIENDLY, OR WILL THEY ALWAYS BE ROOTED IN DISTRUST?

 

Nov.

99*

Apr.

02

May.

03

Mar.

04

Jun.

05

Apr.

06

Oct.

08

Sept.

14

Jun.

15

It is possible for them to be genuinely friendly

52

39

39

44

44

35

34

26

24

They will always be rooted in mistrust

38

51

47

42

42

54

52

64

62

It is difficult to say

10

11

14

14

14

11

14

10

14

*The question was asked in the following format: “WITH WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS DO YOU AGREE MORE: RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE WEST CAN BE GENUINELY FRIENDLY OR WILL THE RELATIONS ALWAYS BE BASED IN MISTRUST?

The answers “Entirely agree with the first statement” and “Somewhat agree with the first statement”; “Somewhat agree with the second statement” and “Entirely agree with the second statement” were summarized into the two answers above.

IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DOES EUROPE PERCEIVE RUSSIA? (multiple answers given)

 

Dec.

06

Jun.

15

Merely as a provider of resources for the West

40

33

As a potential military enemy, nuclear power

12

30

As an undeveloped, unpredictable, and aggressive country

17

27

As a place for profitable investments

24

20

As a country whose citizens come to waste away their money

14

19

As a “free hunting” zone, where there aren’t any laws for those who have money

20

18

As a source of brain power for Western companies and scientific institutions

25

17

As a great power and the cradle of a rich culture

8

12

As a neighbor and partner with whom they should strengthen and develop relations

15

10

As a country that is flooding Europe with unwanted immigrants

9

6

As a country that is controlled by the KGB

4

6

Other

<1

<1

It is difficult to say

12

10

 IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DOES RUSSIA PERCEIVE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES? (multiple answers given)

 

Dec.

06

Jun.

15

As a neighbor and partner with whom they should strengthen and develop relations

32

28

As a primary trade partner

24

24

As a potential aggressor under the united NATO military block

8

23

As a conductor of American politics in the Eurasian continent

7

23

As a model of all that represents a high quality of life

29

20

As an attractive place for Russians find work, emigrate

23

16

As a concentration of cultural and historical values

10

12

Other

<1

<1

It is difficult to say

16

13

IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DO PEOPLE FROM THE WEST PERCEIVE VLADIMIR PUTIN? (multiple answers given)

 

Mar.

07

Jun.

15

As a decisive defender of Russia’s national interests

26

39

As an authoritarian leader who crushed the beginnings of democracy in Russia

10

23

As a cautious and pragmatic thinker and government leader

25

21

As a former KGB agent

21

19

As a long-term thinking, peace-loving, and responsible politician

31

19

Other

3

2

It is difficult to say

11

12

DO YOU THINK THAT VLADIMIR PUTIN IS RESPECTED BY GOVERNMENT LEADERS OF WESTERN COUNTRIES?

 

Mar. 07

Jun.15

Definitely yes

31

24

Probably yes

55

51

Probably no

5

14

Definitely no

1

2

It is difficult to say

9

10

TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU AGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: “WESTERN CULTURE IS A NEGATIVE INFLUENCE ON RUSSIAN LIFE”?

 

May.98

Jun.13

Jun.15

Entirely agree

37

24

28

Somewhat agree

25

41

39

Somewhat disagree

22

23

20

Entirely disagree

11

6

6

It is difficult to say

6

6

7

TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU AGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: “IN ORDER TO COUNTER AMERICA’S GROWING INFLUENCE, RUSSIA SHOULD STRENGTHEN ITS TIES WITH OTHER COUNTRIES”?

 

May.98

Jun.13

Jun.15

Entirely agree

40

25

41

Somewhat agree

37

54

48

Somewhat disagree

11

8

5

Entirely disagree

3

2

1

It is difficult to say

10

11

6

TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU AGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: “THE UNITED STATES IS USING RUSSIA’S CURRENT DIFFICULTIES TO TURN IT INTO A SECOND-RATE POWER AND A MERE SUPPLIER OF RAW MATERIALS FOR THE WEST”?

 

May.98

Jun.13

Jun.15

Entirely agree

46

32

44

Somewhat agree

29

45

42

Somewhat disagree

12

12

6

Entirely disagree

5

2

1

It is difficult to say

8

10

7

TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU AGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: “RUSSIA’S DOMESTIC PROBLEMS ARE CURRENTLY MORE SERIOUS THAN ANY FOREIGN THREATS”?

 

May.98

Jun.13

Jun.15

Entirely agree

52

22

21

Somewhat agree

28

44

38

Somewhat disagree

9

20

26

Entirely disagree

4

3

4

It is difficult to say

8

11

12

Translated by Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (formerly  Monterey Institute of International Studies).