Russia’s Ranking Lowers In Several Places

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With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, majority of the people do not have a favourable opinion of that country, according to a latest PEW Research Centre study.

The Ratings for Russia, which were already negative in most of the nations surveyed, plummeted further following the invasion, the PEW Centre said. A median of 85 per cent across 18 countries expressed an unfavourable opinion of Russia, with majorities in most nations saying they have a very unfavourable opinion of Russia.

In the survey, the PEW Centre said that at least seven-in-ten have an unfavourable opinion of Russia. Malaysia is the only country where this is not true; instead, Malaysian opinion is more mixed, with only half saying this. Poles are especially critical of Russia: 97% have an unfavourable opinion, including 91% with a very unfavourable view, the survey noted.

It said that Poles and Swedes stand out for the intensity of their negative views. When 97 per cent of Poles have an unfavourable opinion of Russia, 91 per cent have a very unfavourable opinion. In Sweden, 94 per cent express an unfavourable view, with 80% saying their opinion of Russia is very unfavourable.

CONFIDENCE IN PUTIN

In almost all the countries surveyed, majority of the people expressed only little confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin. Across 18 nations, a median of 90% say they do not have confidence in Putin to do the right thing in world affairs, and nearly eight-in-ten (78%) express no confidence at all in Putin, the survey found.

Malaysia is again an exception to the overall trend, as it is the only country surveyed where a majority expresses confidence in the Russian leader.

Europeans who support right-wing populist parties in their country are more likely to have confidence in Putin to do the “right thing in world affairs. For example, among Greeks who have a favourable view of the Greek Solution party, 55% trust Putin’s handling of international affairs; only 18% trust Putin among those who have an unfavourable view of the party. Similar patterns can be seen among supporters of right-wing populist parties in Germany (Alternative for Germany), the Netherlands (Forum for Democracy and Party for Freedom), the UK (Reform UK), France (National Rally) and Sweden (Sweden Democrats). Yet, while right-wing populist supporters rate Putin more positively than their counterparts, confidence in Putin has decreased more drastically among this group since 2021. In Sweden, for example, 9% of Sweden Democrats supporters trust Putin, down from 30% in 2021. Among those who do not support Sweden Democrats, confidence in Putin was already very low in 2021 (8%) and therefore did not drop as much this year (2%).

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