The Interpreter

A special project of Institute of Modern Russia

Gallup: Majority of Americans Consider Russia an Enemy

The longer Putin remains in power the worse the attitudes of US residents towards Russia

Vladimir Putin is often written about as a devisive figure, alienating and attacking his enemies and generally isolating Russia from the rest of the world. His policies towards the Ukraine are a perfect example of how he would rather punish those who don’t support Russia than pursue policies that build partnerships. And his doubling-down on his support for President Assad in Syria has undermined Russia’s position in the international community so much that the Obama administration may be turning to international bodies outside of the United Nations, thus further isolating Russia.

Now, for the first time in 15 years, the majority of the American people see Russia as an enemy, not an ally or a friendly nation. Each year that Putin remains in power, Russia’s poll numbers get worse in this regard. It is partially because of this trend that the international community appears to be more divided than it has been since the fall of the Soviet Union. – Ed.


For the first time in the last 15 years, the number of Americans negatively inclined toward Russia has exceeded the number of those who regard our country positively. Even back in June of this year, 52% of Americans believed Russia was an ally or a friendly state; by September, this number had fallen to 44%. The number of US residents who see Russia as an enemy or an unfriendly nation has risen to 50%, research by the Gallup company has shown. The survey was conducted on 15-16 September after Russia got the US to halt plans for a military strike against Syria.

Researchers have established the peak of Americans’ love for Russia in 2006 at 73%, during Vladimir Putin’s second term as president. But the longer Vladimir Vladimirovich has remained in power, the worse the attitudes of US residents to our country and to him personally. If back in 2003, 38% of Americans were positively inclined toward Putin versus 28% negatively disposed, today only 19% support him and more than half – 54% — think poorly of the president of the Russian Federation.

Moreover, up to 50% of those surveyed are certain that the involvement of Putin is helping the US resolve the problem of chemical weapons in Syria, whereas 36% believe that it is harmful. Furthermore, 72% of those polled support the proposals of Russia for a plan regarding chemical weapons, and 18% are opposed.

On the whole, thanks to many years of efforts by Russian state propaganda, not only our fellow citizens but half of Americans believe that we are enemies. It’s success, whatever you say.