According to a report published by polling and analytics firm Gallup, just 1% of Russians approve of U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration. Russia’s approval rating of the U.S. leadership is the worst of any country in the world and the lowest — of any country — over the past decade.
In a previous interview with 24/7 Wall St., Ambassador Stuart Holliday, president and CEO of the Meridian International Center, said these ratings “reflect legitimate opinions that people have whether they’ve been shaped by culture, history, or the news.”
After improving considerably since the Cold War, U.S.-Russia relations began to deteriorate after President Vladimir Putin took power. Holliday explained that Putin has been largely responsible for positioning the United States as opposing Russia and for stoking the negative sentiment.
Anti-American sentiments have long been common in Russia. Recent upticks are likely due largely to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, a move that the United States did not recognize or approve. In 2011, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was responsible for protests in Moscow contesting his rule. Most recently, in another sign of hostilities between the two superpowers, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden publicly threatened Russia with cyber attacks.
Unlike Russia, many countries have a positive view of the United States. In fact, compared to other world powers, including Russia, the United States is generally perceived more favorably.
In some countries with unfavorable view of U.S. leadership, the populations seem to maintain these views despite normal to strong ties between the two governments. However, in the case of United States and Russia, the perception of each country’s population of one another seems to mirror U.S.-Russia government relations.