WASHINGTON, D.C. — More Americans view Russia as unfriendly or an enemy of the United States than as an ally or friendly nation for the first time in 15 years, marking a significant change from as recently as June of this year. A majority of Americans view Russian President Vladimir Putin unfavorably for the first time since he originally took office in 2000.
The Sept. 15-16, 2013, survey was conducted shortly after Russia and Putin helped broker a deal to rid Syria of chemical weapons, averting U.S. military action against Syria.
Since 1999, Americans have considered Russia more of an ally or a friendly nation than an unfriendly nation or an enemy. As recently as June of this year, 52% of Americans considered Russia an ally or friendly; yet three months later, that number has dropped to 44%, with 50% believing Russia is now unfriendly or an enemy of American interests.
The [Russian] government passed a law that would restrict “propaganda” relating to gays and lesbians in Russia and has led to the arrest of gay activists in the nation. While 45% of Americans have not yet heard of these developments, of those who said they were aware, 69% disapprove of Russia’s policies toward gays and lesbians, while 13% approve.
(hat tip: Joe.My.God.)