Russia has made international headlines in recent years for its poor ties with the West on a variety of issues, ranging from suspected election interference and espionage to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine.
According to the independent Levada Center polling organization, 57 percent of Russian respondents believe their country is globally isolated, while 38 percent believe the reverse.
Russians’ favorable opinions about China (70%) and Belarus (82%) considerably outnumber their positive attitudes toward Ukraine (39% ) and Georgia (55% ), all of which have poor ties with their bigger neighbor.
Positive attitudes toward the United States (39 percent) and the European Union (46 percent) trailed significantly behind those of Russia’s friends.
However, favorable views toward the West and Ukraine are gradually recovering after a significant dip in spring 2021, according to Levada’s latest findings. In March and April, the EU and the US imposed additional sanctions on Russia in response to the treatment of poisoned and imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, as tensions started erupting over Russia’s military buildup, close to the Ukrainian border.
According to Levada, 44 percent of Russians think Russia should regard the West as an ally, 29 percent as a competitor, 13 percent as a friend, and 5 percent as an adversary.
Younger Russians (18-24) were more inclined to prefer treating the West as an ally (50%) or a friend (21%), compared to Russians 55 and older, who were more likely to support seeing the West as a competitor (33 percent).