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How Russians feel about foreign states

June 4th 2014 the media published the findings of the international survey (carried out in 24 countries all over the world, where 24500 people in total have been interviewed), and reported Russia reached the minimum of its popularity over the decade of monitoring.  In France the negative perception of this country is shared by 69% of respondents, in Germany – by 67% of interviewees, in UK and US - by 64% per each, 62% in Canada. At average only 31% of participants show their positive feelings towards the Russian Federation (their majority is found in population of BRICS community). Bashkirova and partners Independent Research Company in May 2014 carried out a survey to find out what our compatriots’ feelings towards other countries are.


Russians show their best feelings towards Belarus (84%), which is not surprising, since this country is the most akin to us both after cultural traditions and language. Besides it is bound to us by multiple international treaties on economic and political integration (CU, EAEU, CSTO). 

The second place is granted to Kazakhstan with 67% of our people who view this country positively. The best attitude towards Kazakhstan is shown by middle age people (between 40 and 60 y.o.), Among these the positive attitude has been expressed by 72% of respondents. Instead we reveal only 61% of such (which is also great number anyway) within the group of the young (between 18 and 29 years of age). The same trend have been maintaining in relation of other Central Asia states, where again middle age respondents (who still feel nostalgia about the times when we used to make up a single nation) perceive these countries better than the young do.

63% of the interviewed Russians evidence of their good feelings towards Kyrgyzstan, while only 52% do so in relation of Tajikistan. We may assume that Russians perhaps underestimate Tajikistan, which still has even more integrating ties with our country, than Kyrgyzstan.

Only 33% of Russian citizens show their positive relation to Ukraine, which is quite understandable in view of the recent world developments.  This being said however, the young (18-29 of age) feel noticeably better about Ukraine if compared to older people (40% with the young and only 25% with the people of 50-59 of age).


Out of non-CIS countries, Brazil enjoys the greatest sympathy in our respondents, where 65% of Russians interviewed show their positive feelings towards this country. This high rating of support in favor of Brazil can be explained by traditionally very good relations between our people and those of Latin America in overall, also by unaggressive foreign policies of the Brazilian government.

61% of participants look at China in a positive way, which is not a surprise either, increase in economic cooperation (also in the area of energy resources) as well as this relationship being free of sensitive foreign policy contradictions with our countries being considered.  The most positive attitude towards China is revealed in people having high education (68%), also in people between 50 and 60 of age (69%).

Only 34% of Russians feel positive about Iran, which is conditioned by this country culture, political system being alien to most of the Russian residents. Furthermore Iran however appeals to 40% of male and only to 30% of female audience.

41% of Russians treat EU well. These are elderly people over 60 of age, whose attitude towards EU is the worst, and these make less than a third of respondents. High education people show the most positive feelings towards EU and there we have almost a half of such ones (47%). This is most likely we can sense the influence of the around Ukraine crisis, where the European Union is supporting Kiev authorities.

The most negative feelings the Russian citizens express towards the United States. Only 25% of respondents view this country positively.

 We may assume a reason for this could be the aggressive foreign policies the USA pursue, as well as the cold war era derived stereotype when this state had used to be considered the main potential enemy (this is why it’s people of above 60 who view the United States in the most negative way).


The study was conducted in May 2014 based on all-Russia random route sample (18+) using face-to-face interviews in place of residence. Altogether 1500 respondents in 8 federal districts, 100 settlements, 200 sample points have been surveyed. The sample error makes up 2,5%.

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