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Levada Center: Russian attitudes towards the U.S. show improvement for the first time in a year

Forty percent of Russians have a positive attitude towards the United States, while 43 percent feel negatively, says a new survey from the independent Levada Center.

The Levada Center conducted its survey from January 29–February 2, 2021 on a representative sample of Russia’s urban and rural population. They carried out in-person interviews with 1,616 people over the age of 18, in a 137 cities and towns across 50 Russian regions. 

Despite these mixed feelings, Russian attitudes towards the U.S. are showing signs of improvement after a lengthy period of deterioration that lasted all of 2020, the center’s sociologists note.

Back in November 2019, survey results showed that 47 percent of respondents had positive attitudes towards the U.S., but all of last year this figure ranged from 35 to 42 percent. Also in November 2019, 40 percent of those surveyed expressed negative attitudes towards the U.S., while in 2020 this figure fluctuated between 46 and 51 percent.

According to the latest polling results, people in the age groups 18 to 24 and 25 to 39 were the most likely to have positive attitudes toward the U.S. (59 percent and 49 percent, respectively). By comparison, only 33 percent of people over the age of 55 felt positively about the United States, while 53 percent were of the opposite opinion.

Meanwhile, Russian attitudes toward the European Union are gradually getting worse. While the latest polling results show that 45 percent of respondents have positive feelings towards the EU and 37 percent have negative ones, by comparison, in November 2019, these figures were 52 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

The Levada Center also noted a significant improvement in Russian attitudes towards China over the last year. Whereas in January 2020, 65 percent of respondents had positive attitudes towards Russia’s neighbor, at the beginning of 2021 this figure had risen to 75 percent. Meanwhile, since last January, the proportion of those with negative attitudes towards China has fallen from 24 to just 10 percent. 

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