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Thread: For First Time, Americans' Views of Russia Turn Negative

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    Default For First Time, Americans' Views of Russia Turn Negative

    Despite approval of Russian plan for Syria, Americans sour on Putin

    by Art Swift


    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More Americans view Russia as unfriendly or an enemy of the United States than as an ally or friendly nation for the first time in 15 years, marking a significant change from as recently as June of this year. A majority of Americans view Russian President Vladimir Putin unfavorably for the first time since he originally took office in 2000.
    The Sept. 15-16, 2013, survey was conducted shortly after Russia and Putin helped broker a deal to rid Syria of chemical weapons, averting U.S. military action against Syria.
    Since 1999, Americans have considered Russia more of an ally or a friendly nation than an unfriendly nation or an enemy. As recently as June of this year, 52% of Americans considered Russia an ally or friendly; yet three months later, that number has dropped to 44%, with 50% believing Russia is now unfriendly or an enemy of American interests.
    The more negative views of Russia come after a series of international events involving Russia, including not only the conflict in Syria, but also Russia's granting former NSA contractor Edward Snowden temporary asylum, and its new restrictions on gay and lesbian rights. Additionally, President Putin published an op-ed in the New York Times last week, chastising American foreign policy and suggesting that U.S. President Barack Obama's statement of American exceptionalism was "extremely dangerous."
    Belief that Russia is an ally or a friendly nation is down from a peak of 73% in 2006, during Putin's second term as president. He was constitutionally barred from serving a third consecutive term in 2008 and stepped down, serving as prime minister from 2008 to 2012. In 2012, Putin was once again elected to the Russian presidency.
    Americans Also Souring on Putin
    Americans' opinions of Putin are declining as well. Currently, 19% view Putin favorably, while 54% hold an unfavorable opinion of him.
    This is a marked contrast to Gallup's prior readings on Putin, conducted nearly a decade ago during his first term as Russian president, when Americans were on balance positive toward him. Americans' current net-negative views of Putin are notable, given his effort to communicate directly with the public and put himself in a positive light in the New York Times op-ed piece.
    GALLUP ANALYTICS: Sign up to learn how you can access Gallup's global database >


    Despite the increasing negativity toward Russia and Putin, Americans widely endorse the Russian plan to rid Syria of chemical weapons, and believe Putin's involvement was helpful. Seventy-two percent approve of the plan and 18% disapprove. And 50% say Putin's involvement was mostly helpful to U.S. interests, while 36% say it was more harmful.Russia Receives Low Marks on Snowden, Gay and Lesbian Policy
    The increasing negativity toward Russia suggests that matters such as the Snowden asylum case and Russian policy toward gays and lesbians may weigh more heavily on Americans' minds than Russia's recent role in the negotiations on Syria.
    The same poll finds that 64% of Americans who have heard of Russia's granting asylum to Snowden disapprove of the move, while 25% approve of its actions.
    Also in June, the government passed a law that would restrict "propaganda" relating to gays and lesbians in Russia and has led to the arrest of gay activists in the nation. While 45% of Americans have not yet heard of these developments, of those who said they were aware, 69% disapprove of Russia's policies toward gays and lesbians, while 13% approve.
    Bottom Line
    Since Vladimir Putin ascended to the Russian presidency in 2000, he has had a complicated relationship with the American public. While never wildly popular with Americans, he was viewed more positively than negatively earlier in his time in office, and this mirrored Americans' opinions toward the nation he leads.
    Despite proposing a plan to ensure international control of Syria's chemical weapons -- a plan Americans view favorably -- Americans are much more negative toward Putin than in the past, and are less likely than they were three months ago to view Russia as friendly to the U.S.
    The data suggest Russia's more aggressive posture on the world stage in recent months has not gone over well with Americans, despite Putin's obvious interest in his image among Americans. With Russia poised to host the Winter Olympics in February 2014, it is clear that the nation -- and its leader -- will continue to influence worldwide debate for the foreseeable future.

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    Kill4Me's Avatar
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    Putin has a face like a garbage pale.

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    There needs to be more pictures of Putin with animals in the press. People would like him more.




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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post



    alright you got me. I like him now.

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    Look, it's Scapegrace!

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    the thread title is both highly misleading and inaccurate

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    the thread title is both highly misleading and inaccurate
    I think you're forgetting that Y2K screwed up the internal clock of the universe. History had to start over again post 2000.

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    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    Ti centric krieger's Avatar
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    this is an awesome picture.

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