Surprise! Only 1 Percent of Russians Approve of American Leadership.
A new poll found that 99 percent of Russians are unhappy with U.S. leadership.
The past decade hasn’t been great for Russia-U.S. relations. In the mid-2000s, Moscow said a wave of popular protests in the former Soviet Union had been stirred up by American NGOs and media outlets. After the Russian war with Georgia in 2008, the Kremlin claimed that Washington was encroaching on its sphere of influence. Then came the 2011 U.S.-led military intervention in Libya, which Russia came to see as a dishonest attempt by Washington to use talk of an impending humanitarian catastrophe to mask its actual desire for regime change.
Russian leaders have kept up a steady stream of anti-American rhetoric, and a new Gallup poll shows that it’s working: Russian confidence in U.S. leadership is now at an all-time low of one percent. Yes, one percent. It is not only the lowest rating Russians have given Washington since Gallup launched its U.S. Global Leadership poll in 2005, but is also the lowest approval rating in the entire world. (The survey is conducted through face-to-face and phone interviews with citizens aged 15 and older.)
According to the poll, which surveyed 132 countries and areas in 2015, worldwide approval of the United States stood at 45 percent — the same as last year. According to the Gallup report, that’s likely due to the up-and-down nature of American foreign policy last year. “On the plus side: the historic Iran nuclear deal, restored relations with Cuba, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and alliances with Asia,” the report said. “On the minus side: continued threats from the Islamic State group, lingering conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.”
African countries consistently provide the strongest approval ratings, with a continental median approval rate of 59 percent. The only countries whose residents are more likely to disapprove of the Obama administration than approve of it? Somalia, Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt, where the approval rating is at an all-time low of 10 percent, 20 points lower than when Obama took office in 2008.
But it could be worse: At one point in George W. Bush’s presidency, only 6 percent of Egyptians approved of his administration’s policies.
And Europeans are becoming less disappointed with Washington than they were in the past. The median U.S. leadership approval rating reached 46 percent in the latest poll, near the approval ratings Obama’s administration earned early on. That’s significantly higher than when Bush was in office. In 2007 and 2008, he earned only 19 and 18 percent approval, respectively.
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