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People don't care for Putin? How about Zelensky?

PEW is normally great. I think they're missing the elephant in the room here.

  • Putin is unpopular in many places. Their study excludes China, which along with India, represents almost 40%^ of the world's population. China is very supportive of Vlad and PEW glosses over the fact that almost 70% of the folks in India have a positive view of Putin. These two countries are financing the war with energy purchases.

  • Oh yes, no mention of Vlad's approval ratings in Russia which are high.

  • Finally, only half of the folks in the study have confidence in Zelensky. Ergo, half don't have confidence. That's not great. Then again, we had confidence in the leaders of Afghanistan for quite a while, till it turned out they proved ineffective, and corrupt and lead the country into a very bad finale. Sound familiar?

Large Shares See Russia and Putin in Negative Light, While Views of Zelenskyy More Mixed

Views of NATO remain favorable among member nations


As a new Pew Research Center survey highlights, Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, continue to be viewed negatively by people around the world. A median of 82% of adults across 24 countries have an unfavorable view of Russia, while a similar share have no confidence in Putin to do the right thing regarding world affairs, including nine-in-ten or more in Poland, Sweden, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Ratings for the country and its leader plummeted in many nations following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and they are at all-time lows in several countries in this year’s survey.

Data was collected prior to the late June uprising by Russian paramilitary organization the Wagner Group.

In contrast to Putin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seen more positively. While a median of just 11% express confidence in the Russian leader, 51% say this of Zelenskyy. But opinions of Zelenskyy vary by country and fewer than half have confidence in his leadership in 10 nations, including NATO members Hungary, Greece and Italy.

NATO, which has contributed weapons and training to Ukraine since the February 2022 invasion, is seen favorably by 11 member states included in the survey. NATO has been consistently viewed more favorably than not in recent years, and views have grown slightly more positive in Greece and Poland since 2022. However, negative opinion of NATO has crept upward in Hungary and the U.S. While about six-in-ten Americans continue to express a favorable view of NATO, there is a large partisan difference on this question: 76% of Democrats see the alliance positively, compared with 49% of Republicans.

In 11 European countries surveyed, as well as India – where Russian oil access is a relevant issue – people were asked if being tough with Russia on Ukraine or maintaining access to Russia’s oil and gas reserves is more important to bilateral relations. Across these countries, a median of 66% say it is more important to be tough with Russia, while 29% say it is more important to maintain access to Russia’s energy reserves. People in Hungary, India and Greece are the most likely to want to maintain access to Russia’s oil and gas reserves, while Swedes and Poles are the most likely to want to be tough on Russia.

In several ways, publics in Greece, Hungary and India are outliers when it comes to views about Russia and Putin. Greeks and Hungarians stand out relative to European counterparts as being more favorable on Russia, confident in Putin and negative toward Zelenskyy. Hungary, in particular, has faced criticism for delays in sanctioning Russia, while public sentiments in Greece have tended to favor remaining neutral in the conflict. India (which has abstained from condemning the Russian invasion) is the only country where a majority expresses a favorable view of Russia and confidence in Putin.

These findings come from a new Pew Research Center survey conducted from Feb. 20 to May 22, 2023, among 30,861 people in 24 countries. Below are some of the other findings regarding views of Russia and NATO, attitudes toward Russian energy and confidence in Putin, Zelenskyy and key NATO leaders.

Ratings of Russia and Putin in middle-income nations

The survey includes eight middle-income nations that Pew Research Center has not surveyed since 2019 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent difficulties in conducting face-to-face interviews across the world. Opinions toward Russia and Putin are on balance negative in these countries, although India and Indonesia are exceptions. Negative sentiment toward Russia and Putin has increased by double digits in nearly every middle-income country since 2019. For instance, 74% now express a negative view of Putin in Argentina, up from 51% four years ago.

Confidence in Zelenskyy

A median of 51% across the 24 countries surveyed express confidence in Zelenskyy’s leadership, while 39% hold the opposite view. Confidence in Zelenskyy ranges from 86% in Sweden to just 11% in Hungary. Besides Hungary, half or more do not have confidence in the Ukrainian leader in Greece, Mexico, Italy, Israel, Brazil and Argentina. Age is linked to these views: Younger adults (those ages 18 to 39) are more likely to express a lack of confidence in Zelenskyy than adults 40 and older in several countries.

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