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Americans' Opinions of Russia Have Hit a New Low

Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

A recent poll asked Americans if they view specific countries favorably or unfavorably just before Russia began its full-scale invasion into Ukraine late last month. However, the results of the poll, which were compiled ahead of Russia’s invasion, show that the country was already viewed unfavorably by the majority of Americans.

In the Gallup poll published Monday , more than eight in 10 Americans rated Canada, Great Britain, France, and Japan favorable. On the other hand, five countries received ratings under 20 percent; North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Russia. 

In the findings, Canada scored the highest with a favorable rating of 87 percent. Great Britain came in second with a 86 percent rating. France received an 84 percent rating and Japan an 82 percent rating. In addition to these four countries, Germany, India, Israel, Egypt, Mexico, and Ukraine were viewed favorably among majorities.

On the contrary, China received a 20 percent rating, Saudi Arabia received a 33 percent rating, and Cuba received a 40 percent rating. At the bottom of the list of the 19 countries, North Korea came in at the lowest with a 10 percent favorable rating. Afghanistan’s rating was 12 percent, Iran’s was 13 percent, and Russia’s was 15 percent. 

“The ratings of Russia and Ukraine were collected as Russia was building up troops along Ukraine's border and the Biden administration was warning that an attack was imminent. It is likely that ratings of Ukraine would be more positive, and ratings of Russia more negative, if the poll were conducted today,” the poll write-up noted. It was conducted from Feb. 1 to Feb. 17.

Russia’s 15 percent rating in the results is a new low, the write-up stated. Americans’ opinions of both Cuba and Iraq dropped five points in the past year. 

“Whether Americans view a country favorably or unfavorably typically depends on relations between the U.S. and that country,” the write-up explained. “Gallup has historically found that the U.S. ally nations are viewed positively by Americans, while the countries that have fraught relationships with the U.S. receive negative ratings on balance -- and those ratings have historically been responsive to changes in relations with the U.S. At times in the past, for example, majorities of Americans have had positive opinions of Russia and China and negative opinions of France and Egypt.”

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