60% of Americans View Russia in an Unfavorable Light
The eyes of the world are currently on Russia and Vladimir Putin right now, as the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are currently in full swing.
As the Olympics rage on, it's interesting to note that many Americans have seen their opinions of both Russia and Vladimir Putin sour in recent years.
According to Gallup.com, a full 60% of Americans currently view Russia in a negative light. This is a marked change from 2005, when just 33% of the American public viewed their former Cold War foe in a negative light.
Americans are even more hostile towards Russia's President, Vladimir Putin.
63% of Americans currently have an unfavorable view towards Putin, while just 19% of Americans view him in a positive light. This is a complete flip-flop from 2002, when just 18% of Americans viewed Putin in an unfavorable light.
Tensions between Russia and the United States have been heightening over the past number of years. In what was seen as a snub, the US delegation to the Olympics did not include President Obama, the first lady, the Vice President or any former President. This was the first time that this has happened since 2000.
There are a number of reasons behind the increasing tensions between Russia and the United States over the past decade or so. Obviously Russia's decision to grant asylum to Edward Snowden brought the unhappiness between the two countries to a head, but tensions over Syria, the Ukraine and gay rights, plus an op-ed piece from Putin in the New York Times that criticized the United States, have also increased the unease between the two countries.
In addition, many people aren't comfortable with the idea of China and Russia attempting to establish themselves as global superpowers.
Putin made a visit to the USA Olympic House in Sochi earlier today - many people felt as though the visit was intended to soften his image with Americans. Will it work? Will a successful Winter Olympics also help to change people's opinions about Vladimir Putin in the United States? We'll see.
Source: Gallup.com - Americans' Views of Russia, Putin Are Worst in Years
Filed under: General Knowledge