Russian-American relations

In March 2022, the Levada Center and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs research organization conducted a joint study of the public opinion of Russians and Americans about Russian-American relations and the most pressing topics on the international agenda. The study showed an increase in negative attitudes towards the United States among Russians, a decrease in willingness to cooperate – and at the same time increased fears associated with a possible conflict.

In March, the Levada Center published the results of a survey on attitudes towards some Western countries and associations, indicating a sharp drop in positive attitudes.

Attitude to the US

Difficult to answer

In addition to the personal attitude to the countries, respondents were asked about the respect in the world enjoyed by Russia, China, the USA, Germany and Ukraine. According to Russians, China occupies a leading position in this parameter: four out of five Russians believe that this country is respected in the world (81%). Two–thirds of respondents believe that Russia is respected in the world (66%); half of Russians (52%) thinks so about Germany. A third of respondents believe that the United States is respected in the world (34%), 18% believe that about Ukraine.

How do you think… is respected in the world as a whole? (in %)

 Very respectedRespectedNot respectedCompletely disrespectedCan’t say
…the USA…82633259

The attitude towards the leaders of the countries largely repeats the data of the answers to the previous question. Respondents relate best to V. Putin (87%). The leadership of the “allied” countries also enjoys the most benevolent attitude – A. Lukashenko (82%) and Xi Jinping (82%). Attitudes towards the leaders of Western countries are noticeably more negative – in this series, the leaders of France are treated better (E. Macron – 24%) and Germany (O. Scholz – 14%). Attitudes to J. Biden and V. Zelensky are extremely negative (6%).

How do you feel about… (in %)

 PositiveNegativeCan’t say
…V. Putin87104
…A. Lukashenko82108
…Xi Jinping76718
…E. Macron245323
…O. Scholz145927
…V. Zelensky6868

Comparing the above data with the results of a survey of Americans conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in March 2022, one can draw attention to the “mirror” opposite attitude towards the leaders of some countries. Americans are noticeably more likely to feel sympathy for V. Zelensky (81%) and US President Biden (52%), than to the leaders of China (Xi Jinping – 10%) and Russia (V. Putin – 4%).

Have a positive attitude towards … (in %)

 Russia, Mar. 22USA, Mar. 22
…V. Putin874
…Xi Jinping7610
…V. Zelensky681

The deterioration of relations between Russia and the United States has affected the willingness of Russians to cooperate between the countries. The number of respondents who consider it necessary to seek cooperation with the United States has decreased to 30%.

What do you think: (in %)

Russia should be open to cooperation with the United States3830
Russia should strive to limit the international influence and power of the United States5362
Can’t say98

More often, the desire for cooperation is expressed by younger groups of respondents, respondents with a higher level of consumption and education.

What do you think: (in %, by age group)

 18-24 years old25-39 years old40-54 years old55 years and older
Russia should be open to cooperation with the United States38333027
Russia should strive to limit the international influence and power of the United States56606265
Can’t say6888

The number of Russians who believe that Russia has been and remains a part of Europe has hardly changed compared to the results of a comparable study conducted in 2016 (64%, in 2016 – 68%). Age differentiation is noticeable in the responses of respondents: young people are less likely to agree with the statement that Russia is part of Europe. Older people, on the contrary, more often see Russia as a European country.

To what extent do you agree that Russia was and remains a part of Europe? (in %)

Totally agree2933
Totally disagree813
can’t say76

Respondents were offered a set of phenomena and processes and asked how dangerous they are for Russia. When comparing the results with the last wave of the survey, which took place in 2016, attention is drawn to the general increase in anxiety and an increase in the proportion of responses “very dangerous” for all the proposed options. At the same time, the greatest increase in fears is associated with foreign policy factors: the actions of the NATO alliance and the growth of the US military.

How dangerous, in your opinion, is … for Russia (in %)

 The growth of the US militaryInternational terrorismNATOClimate change
Very dangerous35587270802456343342
Dangerous, but not too dangerous47242321115023424032
There is no great danger18145962513242622
Can’t say<14<1218<14

Older respondents are more optimistic and more often expect changes for the better in terms of Russia’s global political influence (42%). Young people, on the contrary, are more skeptical: only 28% expect the strengthening of Russian influence.

The “forecast” of changes in the level of well-being does not depend on age, but there are noticeable differences between urban and rural populations. Residents of cities with a population of more than 100 thousand inhabitants are more likely to give pessimistic estimates: only 19% expect an improvement in well-being, and among residents of villages and small towns – 27%.

At the same time, only 13% of Russians believe that Russia should make concessions to lift sanctions. Young respondents under the age of 40 (18%) think this way a little more often. Older respondents, on the contrary, are less likely to accept concessions from Russia (only 9% in the age group 55 years and older).

Should Russia make any concessions to Western countries to lift sanctions?

Total18-24 years old25-39 years old40-54 years old55 years and older
Can’t say78848


The survey by the Levada Center was conducted March 24 – 30 2022, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1632 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 data is weighted by gender, age and level of education.

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 Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey was conducted on March 25-28, 2022 by Ipsos using its nationwide research panel, KnowledgePanel, on a weighted national sample of 1,016 people aged 18 and older living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The sampling error is +/- 3.0%.

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


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