Americans’ Views of Russia Hit a 15-Year Low

50% of Americans view Russia as "unfriendly" or worse in a new Gallup poll

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US President Barack Obama (L) holds a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 summit at the Lough Erne resort near Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, on June 17, 2013. The conflict in Syria was set to dominate the G8 summit starting in Northern Ireland on Monday, with Western leaders upping pressure on Russia to back away from its support for President Bashar al-Assad. AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

The results are in, and American goodwill towards Russia has ebbed to a 15 year low, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday. Fifty percent of Americans say Russia is “unfriendly” to American interests at best and downright hostile at worst, a notable decline from the highpoint in relations in 2006, when 73% of Americans viewed Russia as an ally.

(MORE: Syria’s Rebels Feel Hung Out to Dry by U.S.-Russia Deal)

Disapproval rates jumped even higher when Americans were asked for their opinion of Putin (54% unfavorable), or Putin’s decision to grant asylum to Edward Snowden (64% disapprove), or Russia’s crackdown on whatever speech and actions it defines as homosexual “propaganda” (69% disapprove). The one bright spot in the survey is Putin’s diplomatic move to disarm Syria, which Americans resoundingly endorsed by 72%. Not that it has changed the poll’s “bottom line”: Americans have soured on Putin, “and this mirrored Americans’ opinions toward the nation he leads.”

(VIEWPOINT: Putin’s Pawn: Forget Chess or Checkers — Obama Forfeited)