Category Archives: Levada

20/2/15: Russian Perception of the West: Hitting Historical Lows

Levada Center report from earlier this month points to a rising anti-Western sentiment in Russian public opinion. Based on the (gated) article covering Levada findings (see

  • 44% of Russians held a negative perception of the U.S. in early 2014. This rose to 81% at the end of 2014.
  • 4% of Russians saw US-Russian relations as hostile, this rose to 42% in late 2014.
  • 71% of Russian hold a negative view of the EU
  • 1% of Russians saw EU-Russian relations as hostile in early 2014, and this increased to 24% by the end of 2014.
  • 40% of Russians still believe that Russia needs to improve its relations with the West, with 36% saying Russia should further distance itself from the West.
  • Proportion of those who believe that Russia is now on par with the world's most powerful nations fell from 45% in 2008 to 27% at the end of 2014.

Levada Center comment on the results of the latest surveys points to the fact that end-2014 data marks the worst public perception of the West and the US in Russia over the last 25 years.

20/2/15: Russian Public Perceptions of 2014 Events

A small snippet of an insight into Russian public opinion about big themed 2014 events via Levada Center:

The obvious conclusion: the overall dominance of Ukraine and economic crisis in public perceptions of the most important events of 2014.

Another obvious conclusion, absolute lack of interest in the fate of Russian opposition: the Navalny case being remembered by only 2%, despite the case entering headlines once again in December 2014 - January 2015. These, of course should be seen in line with "Protests after the verdict of the Navalny brothers’ trial" (3%), pushing joint significance of the case to more respectful 5%.

Third point: whilst the Western sanctions against Russia are clearly at the forefront of public attention, the counter-sanctions (often reported in the Western press as inducing hardship on ordinary Russians) are less important than the death of opera singer Yelena Obraztsova.

Fourth point: proximately linked events are showing some interesting results: for example, "Terrorist attack in Paris" (18%) and "Solidarity marches after the terrorist attack in Paris" (10%) jointly signify singular event and by importance rival "American and Western European sanctions against Russia".

Fifth point: "The creation of the European Economic Union" (5%) is about as important to Russians as "The World Economic Forum in Davos" and probably less significant than "Power outages in Crimea due to the Ukrainian blockade" (6%).