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International relations: August 2021

The attitude of Russians towards the US is slowly getting better after it plummeted in the spring of 2021. In March 2021 40% of Russians had a positive attitude to the United States, 42% had a negative attitude, in May 2021 the numbers were 31% and 54% respectively, in August – 39% and 47% respectively. 

Attitude to the US

 
Positive
Negative
Difficult to answer
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A similar situation can be noticed in the attitude of Russians towards the EU. A significant drop happened in spring 2021: back in January 45% had a positive attitude to the EU, 37% had a negative one, in May the numbers were 38% and 45% respectively. By August 2021 the indicators have gone back – 46% had a positive attitude, 39% thought poorly of it. 

Attitude to the EU

 
Positive
Negative
Difficult to answer
12.200301.200402.200408.200401.200502.200503.200504.200505.200506.200507.200508.200509.200510.200511.200512.200501.200602.200603.200604.200605.200606.200607.200608.200609.200610.200611.200612.200601.200702.200703.200704.200705.200706.200707.200708.200710.200711.200712.200701.200802.200807.200809.200811.200801.200903.200905.200907.200909.200901.201003.201005.201007.201009.201011.201001.201103.201105.201107.201109.201111.201101.201203.201205.201207.201209.201211.201201.201303.201305.201307.201309.201312.201301.201403.201404.201405.201407.201409.201411.201401.201503.201505.201507.201509.201511.201501.201603.201605.201607.201609.201611.201601.201703.201705.201708.201709.201712.201701.201803.201805.201807.201809.201811.201802.201905.201908.201911.201901.202008.202011.202001.202105.202108.2021
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The attitude of Russians to Ukraine has also somewhat improved: in May 2021 only 33% held a positive attitude to this country, while 55% had a negative attitude, in August 2021 the numbers were 39% and 49% respectively.

More than a half of Russians (55%) have a good opinion about Georgia, 29% think of it poorly. The attitude has been getting better for the last couple of years – in 2018 46% had a good opinion about the country while 31% thought of it poorly. 

The attitude of Russians towards Belarus traditionally remains at a high level: 82% have a good opinion, only 10% think of it poorly.

Russians have changed their attitude to China for the worse: at the beginning of the year 75% had a positive attitude to the country, 14% thought poorly of it, in August 2021 the numbers were 70% and 18% respectively.

57% of Russians believe that the country is currently isolated from the rest of the world, 38% do not agree with that statement. These indicators have not changed significantly since 2018 – then they were 56% and 37% respectively.

44% of Russians believe that Russia should treat the West as an ally, 29% – as a rival, 13% – as a friend, 5% – as an enemy.

In previous surveys we used the option “As a partner” instead of “As an ally” – in January 2020 it was the leading option, 67% supported it. 

THERE ARE DIFFERENT OPINIONS ABOUT WHAT KIND OF RELATIONS RUSSIA SHOULD HAVE WITH THE WEST. AND HOW DO YOU THINK SHOULD RUSSIA TREAT THE WEST?

May ’16Jan. ’17Jun. ’18Jan. ’20
As an enemy7853
As a rival24311616
As a partner55436167
As a friend47811
Can’t say7784
Refused to answer3521

The point of view that the West is to be treated as an ally is the most popular with respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 (50%). The same applies to the “as a friend” option – 21%.

The point of view that the West is to be treated as a rival is the most popular with respondents aged 55 and older – 33%. 

39% of Russians believe that the majority of developed countries treat Russia “as a rival” – this point of view has been leading since 2013. 25% are sure that Russia is treated “as an enemy – this indicator has somewhat dropped since 2017 (30%). 13% of Russians believe that Russia is treated as a friend, and this indicator keeps sinking.

Methodology

This survey was conducted August 19 – 26 2021, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1619 people aged 18 or older in 137 municipalities of 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the total number of participants along with data from previous surveys.

The statistical error of these studies for a sample of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed:

3.4% for indicators around 50%

2.9% for indicators around 25%/75%

2.0% for indicators around 10%/90%

1.5% for indicators around 5%/95%

The ANO Levada Center has been included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents.

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