Countries Around the World Not Fond of Russia and Vladimir Putin

Years after President Vladimir Putin began efforts to ensure Russia restores its status as a global power, many in the world seem to acknowledge the country’s growing importance. A new report by the bipartisan think tank Pew Research Center released on Thursday shows that Russia plays a more important role in global affairs than it did 10 years ago, but neither the country nor its leader are seen favorably.

The report, based on a poll of 26,612 people conducted in 25 countries, reveals that only 34 percent of the respondents have a favorable view of Russia, and 26 percent say they have confidence in Putin’s following the correct action in world affairs. By contrast, more than half of those surveyed expressed negative attitudes toward Russia, with 63 percent saying they also don’t trust Vladimir Putin, a leader whom more than 8 in 10 Russians say they have faith in.

[ MORE: See which countries are viewed as the world’s most powerful.]

Russia has a predominantly negative image in Europe and North America, with Sweden and the Netherlands expressing the lowest confidence. About 8 in 10 people in both countries say their views on the Russian Federation are unfavorable, followed by Poland with a 69 percent Putin disapproval rate. Around 66 percent of people in the U.K., France, and Spain also report unfavorable views, while in the United States 64 percent expressed low confidence levels in the Russian Federation.

Among Asian nations, the Japanese report the most concern about Russia, with 64 percent of people interviewed in the country saying they have negative views about their Western neighbor.

The only countries with overall positive views on the Russian Federation are the Philippines, where 63 percent of the respondents say they view the nation favorably; Tunisia with 55 percent of those surveyed expressing similar views; South Korea, where 53 percent report favorable views and Greece, with 52 percent.

“By contrast, majorities in North America and much of Europe see Russia in a negative light,” say the authors of the Pew report. “Attitudes toward Putin follow a similar pattern, with the Philippines and Tunisia the only countries where more than half express confidence in the Russian leader.”

[ MORE: Russia seen as one of worst countries for human trafficking.]

Views of Russia also seem to be tied to age, with older generation s being more inclined to have negative views. In 10 of the 25 countries surveyed by Pew, adults age 18-29 expressed more favorable views over Russia than those 50 or older.

Vladimir Putin is the most unpopular in Poland, Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden, where more than 80 percent surveyed say they have no confidence in the Russian leader. More than 70 percent of respondents in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, France, U.K. and Brazil expressed the same views. In addition, confidence in Putin is higher among those fond of right-wing populist parties, shows the Pew report.

In America, the Russian president is losing ground with both the Democrats and the Republicans. “That said, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents currently have almost twice as much confidence in Putin to do the right thing as Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (28% vs. 15%),” say the authors of the Pew Report.

The Pew report comes amid the ongoing U.S. investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections, as well as growing anxiety across around the world about Moscow’s influence in countries’ domestic politics.

In May, Putin easily won election to a fourth term as Russia’s president, a convincing victory that left international analysts speculating on how the leader envisions Russia’s place in the world.

[ MORE: Japanese fear the future and blame robots.]

Earlier this week, the Atlantic Council, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank focusing on international affairs, released its latest in a series of reports examining Russian influence across Europe. In the report, “The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses: Russian Influence in Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden,” the authors examine a strategy from the Kremlin that goes beyond trying to influence elections: the cultivation of political allies in Western Europe.

“Russia’s political warfare against the West doesn’t stop at the ballot box or with information manipulation. It is a continuous, multi-vectored, and multi-layered effort that deploys all the tools at the Kremlin’s disposal.

Elsewhere, a survey of more than 21,000 respondents around the world forthe 2018 Best Countries report placed Russia as the second-most powerful country, closely trailing the U.S. In that same survey, Americans placed Russia ahead of the U.S. as the most powerful country.

In yet another global ranking assessing people’s views of countries ethics and corruption, Russia placed among the least reputable of the 55 nations examined.

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