Majority of Americans view Putin, Russia unfavorably: Gallup

February 14, 2014 7:39 am 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 — More than 60 percent of Americans view Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia unfavorably, the lowest record in the past 20 years, finds a Gallup poll released on Thursday.

Sixty-three percent of Americans have negative opinion of Putin, while 60 percent hold the same view for Russia, according to the Feb. 6-9 poll. It showed that Russia's current hosting of the Winter Olympics in Sochi did not change the attitude of Americans toward Putin and Russia.

This is the lowest unfavorable ratings of Russia by Americans since Gallup began conducting this poll in 1994, one percentage point higher than the previous record, 59 percent, in 1999, when Russia launched a war against separatists in Chechnya.

These sentiments continue the downward trajectory in Americans' opinions since Putin returned to Russia's presidency in 2012, Gallup said. These results align with Gallup's findings last fall when Americans viewed Russia as an enemy, not an ally.

Russia's granting asylum to former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed U.S. global spying operations, Moscow's involvement in Syria's civil war, and its restricting gay and lesbian civil rights are among possible reasons that most Americans dislike Russia, Gallup said.

Americans negative opinion of Putin, who adopts a hard line toward the U.S., has revealed a pattern of steady rise in the past 12 years, climbing from 18 percent in 2002 to 63 percent in 2014, the poll shows.

Putin's Op-ed (opinion-editorial) published on the New York Times last September, which criticized U.S. President Barack Obama for his statement about American exceptionalism, may have also contributed to Americans low opinion of him, Gallup said.(PNA/Xinhua)

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