Staunton, June 15 – Several weeks ago, the Russian government released its enemy list of countries. That list had only two countries on it, the United States and the Czech Republic, but officials made clear that the list could and likely would be expanded over time. Now, the Levada Center has polled Russians on which countries they think are enemies of their own.
Not surprisingly, the Russian people agree with the Russian government that the US is an enemy, but more Russians now view the Czech Republic as a friend than as an enemy, 42 percent to 35 percent, despite what the Putin regime says (levada.ru/2021/06/15/glavnye-druzhestvennye-i-nedruzhestvennye-strany/).
According to the survey, 83 percent of Russians today consider that Russia has enemies, a dramatically higher figure than in the early 1990s, and only 13 percent of them say that Russia doesn’t have enemies now. Sixty-six percent list the US as an enemy, down from 78 percent in 2018; 40 percent say Ukraine is; and 28 percent point to Great Britain.
But Russian popular attitudes toward “enemies” are hardly fixed. Compared to last year, fewer identified the UK, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Georgia and Estonia as enemies. The only enemies whom more Russians identified as enemies this year than last were the US, Ukraine and the Czech Republic.
As to friendly countries, Russians as in the past rate Belarus first, followed by China and Kazakhstan. Trailing them but with still significant support in this regard are Armenia, India, Azerbaijan, Kyrgystan, Syria and Germany. Perhaps significantly, Germany is the only European country among the top 10 of friends as far as the Russian people are concerned.