Saturday

20th Aug 2022

Russia's image nosedives, as EU adds 11 names to blacklist

  • Putin's Russia - popular at home, becoming less popular everywhere else (Photo: Kelly)

A new survey shows that Russia’s image has taken a battering over the Ukraine crisis, as the EU added another 11 names to its blacklist.

The survey, published by US pollsters Pew Research Center on Wednesday (9 July), says 74 percent of people in Europe have an “unfavourbale view of Russia” today compared to 54 percent last year.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Negative opinion in the US rose from 43 percent to 72 percent.

The increase was lower - between four to seven percent - in the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Russia is still fairly popular in Africa, where just 31 percent of people voiced criticism, followed by Asia (41%), and Latin America (45%). But 68 percent held unfavourable views in the Middle East, despite the fact Russia has long been seen as a counter to US support for Israel in the region.

The research was carried out between 17 March and 5 June, involving 48,643 respondents in 44 countries.

Looking at Europe, the sharpest increase in Russia criticism was seen in Poland, the UK, Spain, Germany, and Italy.

The public sentiment is not always reflected in government policy, with Italy, Germany, and Spain taking the lead in opposing tougher EU sanctions.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine itself, opinion is divided by region.

Overall, some 60 percent of Ukrainians now see Russia in a negative light compared to just 11 percent in 2011 (the last time Pew studied Ukraine). But the figures break down as 83 percent anti-Russian feeling in west Ukraine, compared to 45 percent in the east, and 4 percent in Crimea.

The survey’s findings were matched in terms of people’s confidence in Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s personal handling of international affairs.

They were also matched in peoples’ views that Russia “lacks respect for personal freedoms” at home.

Pew found Putin has become more popular inside Russia, however - 83 percent said they see their country under his leadership in a positive light in 2013 and 92 percent today.

But another survey, published by Ukraine's Razumkov Center last week, makes unhappy reading for the Russian President. The Razumkov pollsters said 54 percent of Ukrainian people want their country to join Nato, with just 32 percent against.

The Pew findings came out the same day as EU countries decided to add 11 names to a blacklist which already contained 61 Russian nationals and pro-Russia Ukrainians involved in the insurgency in east Ukraine.

One EU diplomat told EUobserver that seven of the new names are Ukrainians, while the other four are dual Russian-Ukrainian citizens.

A second diplomat said the legal act to blacklist them is to be adopted on Friday, with the names to be published in the bloc's Official Journal on Saturday.

EU considers mini-sanctions on Russia

The EU is considering whether to add some low-level names to the Russia blacklist, as France and Germany lead efforts on Ukraine peace talks.

Several EU states impose arms ban on Russia

Most of the EU’s top arms exporters have imposed a quiet ban on sales to Russia, but Ukraine’s military embargo could have a bigger impact on the crisis.

Opinion

Could the central Asian 'stan' states turn away from Moscow?

The former Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan have retained close ties with Russia since 1989. Yet this consensus may be shifting. At the UN, none of them supported Russia in the resolution condemning the Ukraine invasion.

Column

Is this strange summer a moment of change?

It is a strange, strange summer. The war in Ukraine continues, 60 percent of Europe is in danger of drought, and Covid is still around and could rebound in the autumn. At the same time, everyone is desperate for normalcy.

News in Brief

  1. China joins Russian military exercises in Vostok
  2. Ukraine nuclear plant damage would be 'suicide', says UN chief
  3. Denmark to invest €5.5bn in new warships
  4. German economy stagnates, finance ministry says
  5. Syria received stolen grain, says Ukraine envoy
  6. Truss still leads in next UK PM polling
  7. UN chief meets Zelensky and Erdogan over grain exports
  8. Fighting stalls ahead of UN visit, Ukraine says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  4. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis

Latest News

  1. European inflation hits 25-year high, driven by energy spike
  2. No breakthrough in EU-hosted Kosovo/Serbia talks
  3. Letter to the Editor: Rosatom responds on Zaporizhzhia
  4. Could the central Asian 'stan' states turn away from Moscow?
  5. Serbia expects difficult talks with Kosovo at EU meeting
  6. How scary is threat to Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant?
  7. Slovakia's government stares into the abyss
  8. Finland restricts Russian tourist visas

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us