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Poll Shows Negative Views Of Russia, Putin Around The World

  • RFE/RL

 Russian President Vladimir Putin garnered a majority favorable rating only in Vietnam (70 percent) and China (54 percent).

Russian President Vladimir Putin garnered a majority favorable rating only in Vietnam (70 percent) and China (54 percent).

A new opinion poll shows that both Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, are viewed unfavorably around the world.

A U.S.-based Pew Research Center poll released on August 5 shows that a median of just 30 percent have a positive opinion of Russia among respondents from 39 countries around the world, excluding Russia.

Only 24 percent in the countries surveyed expressed confidence in Putin "to do the right thing regarding world affairs."

Of the 39 countries polled, only Vietnam (75 percent), Ghana (56 percent), and China (51 percent) yielded a majority of respondents who viewed Russia in a favorable light.

Putin garnered a majority favorable rating only in Vietnam (70 percent) and China (54 percent). He received an overwhelmingly positive assessment inside Russia, where 88 percent of respondents expressed support for their head of state.

Relations between Russia and the West have plunged to lows not seen since the Cold War, driven by the Kremlin's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region last year and a simmering war between Kyiv and Russian-backed insurgents in eastern Ukraine.

In response to Russia's actions in Ukraine, the United States and the European Union have imposed several waves of sanctions on Russian officials, companies, and wealthy businesspeople close to Putin.

The punitive measures have angered Russia, which denies accusations by the West and Kyiv that it is backing the rebels in Ukraine despite mounting evidence of such support.

Russia accuses Washington and Brussels of sponsoring a coup against former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a Kremlin ally, and backing a pro-Western government in Kyiv that Moscow regularly portrays as right-wing extremists.

The damaged relations between Moscow and the West are reflected in the new Pew Research Center poll.

Only 11 percent of Russians said they trusted U.S. President Barack Obama, down from 41 percent in 2011, at the height of his so-called "reset" policy aimed at improving ties with the Kremlin.

Among U.S. respondents, 75 percent said they had "no confidence" in Putin's handling of world affairs compared to 21 percent who said they trust the Russian leader.

The poll, conducted March 25-27, surveyed a total of 45,435 respondents from 40 countries.

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