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Russia unpopular in the world, popular in Greece

Russia unpopular in the world, popular in Greece

A research from the Pew Center about Russia's global image reveals global opinion towards Moscow plummeting, with the exception of Greece, with 61% favorable views.

Theo Ioannou

Russia is most unpopular in Poland, which, as a long-suffering Soviet puppet state, is exceptionally alarmed about Russia's recent invasion of Crimea and its sponsorship of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. In Poland, only 12% say they have a favorable view of Russia, with 81 percent holding an unfavorable view. The rates are not much higher in the rest of Europe, which is part of why European leaders are becoming much more willing to impose tough sanctions on Russia, even at some cost to European economies.

But Russia is also deeply unpopular in the Middle East. This is most true in Turkey, where only 16% hold a favorable view of the country, with 73% holding an unfavorable view. This may be a result of Russia's sponsorship of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, who has been able to get away with slaughtering thousands of civilians in that country's civil war in part because Moscow shields him from international action.

Russia is not universally reviled. It has an astounding 75% approval rating in Vietnam, which may be in large part due to Russia's long-standing support for the Vietnamese communist government against the country's historical enemy, China. Russian support for Vietnam as a balance against China has been rising in recent years as well. China and Greece also report mostly favorable views toward Russia (66 and 61% respectively), perhaps because they see Moscow as challenging the West, which is viewed with deep distrust in both countries.

The highest pro-Russia approval rating in Europe, outside of Greece, is actually Ukraine itself: 35% approval. This might seem bizarre, given that Russia is loathed globally for invading and annexing Ukraine, but a source of the crisis from the beginning has been a political split between Ukraine's Europe-leaning western half and an eastern half that has more Russian speakers, more ethnic Russians, and a fonder memory of joint Ukraine-Russian history. Those eastern Ukrainians still exist, and some of them approve of Russia's actions.

Source: Vox

Photo: Reuters

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