Image of Russia in The World — ResearchI was born in Russia and its image on the world scene is significant for me. A recent research by Pew Research Center from Spring 2015 shows that most nations have a rather negative image of the state called Russian Federation.

How Foreigners View Russia

chto-inostrantsy-dumajut-o-rossiiThe interviews were conducted among 39 countries, face to face and by phone.

  • The most positive view of Russia is in Vietnam (75% of the population have a positive opinion).
  • The most negative is in Poland and Jordan (80% people see it negatively).
  • China and Ghana have over 50% positive view (51% and 56%).

Except for the African continent, Russia is not very popular in today’s world. The median for all countries: 51% see it negatively, and 30% positively.

26 countries have mostly negative view of Russia. France, Israel, Germany, and Japan all have over 70% of population seeing the largest country of the former Soviet Union in a pessimistic way.

Countries of Middle East dislike both Russia and United States (only 25% positive for Russia and 29% for the USA).

The dynamics of relations between these two former super powers is similar, with a declining view of each other in both destinations.

  • In 2011 49% of Americans were positive about Russia, and only 22% in 2015.
  • 51% of Russians saw the U.S. positively in 2013, and only 15% in 2015.

Older people in America had poorer opinions of Russian Federation than the ones from younger generations.

Russia’s popularity declined even in China, which is the second warmest in the world towards its neighbor, with 51% of positivism in 2015 as compared to 2/3 people liking it in 2014.

2/3 sliding to 1/2 is quite a difference in statistics in the space of 1 year.

Russians at the same time started liking China more: from 64% in 2014 to 78% in 2015.

Interestingly enough, the highest rating Russia scored in Vietnam, with 75% of people viewing it in a positive light.

In several countries people didn’t have strong opinions either way, giving low percentages to both likes and dislikes.

The official data came from Spring 2015 Global Attitudes survey.

Graphic chart by Pew Research Center.


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How do Russians view other countries? Are they positive about France, Germany, the Netherlands or Spain?

Tad Perry
Tad Perry

Two former superpowers?
Elena, the USA is still a superpower. ))))


Hi Elena,

Those are some very interesting findings. I guess I have a question that draws on your experience of living in both Russia and Australia: having resided more recently in Australia, have you seen much that would be indicative of negativity towards Russia? (either justified or unjustified). What about while you were still in Russia? Was there much negativity towards Australia?

The reason I ask, is that as you’ve had the opportunity to live in both nations, if there was any sort of substance to the data from your own eyes in either culture. Thanks in advance for your perspective Elena!