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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/31/14

Polls Show Mutual Hostility Soars Between Russians and Americans

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Polls Show Mutual Hostility Soars Between Russians and Americans

Eric Zuesse

As the world's two nuclear super-powers gird for possible war against each other, and the United States sends nuclear weapons to the rim of Russia, and Russia holds war-games to test its responses, the publics in both countries are increasing their mutual hostility.

Russians now hostile toward U.S.:

A graph was released on July 29th to subscribers to Gallup Analytics, showing that due to the U.S. and Russian differences regarding the U.S.-sponsored February 2014 coup d'etat in Russia's neighbor Ukraine and the new pro-U.S. Ukrainian government's subsequent ethnic-cleansing campaign there to get rid of the residents in the Ukrainian regions that had voted for the pro-Russian Ukrainian President whom that coup had toppled, the level of approval of "the job performance of the leadership of ... United States" has plunged 75% among Russians, as compared to what it had been before the coup.

Although the level of approval was only 16% prior to the Ukrainian coup, it now is a barely perceptible 4%.

Because Europe follows America's lead, the opinions of Russians toward the leadership in Europe have declined similarly to that toward America's leadership, plunging from 21% down to only 6%. This has happened even though only the U.S. has wholeheartedly endorsed the new Ukrainian Government, while the EU's leaders have been ambivalent to it on account of its nazism.

By contrast, the level of approval in Russia toward the leadership in China, now, after the 30-year gas-deal that Russia negotiated in China to replace gas sales lost to Europe on account of the Ukrainian matter, increased from 25% before the coup, to a much higher 42% now.

Americans Now Hostile Toward Russia:

A recent CNN Poll found that 29% of Americans think that Russia is a "Very serious threat" to the United States, and that 40% consider it a "Moderately serious threat." That's 69% who consider it a "serious threat." In 2012, only 11% had considered it a "Very serious threat," and 33% considered it a "Moderately serious threat." 44% then considered Russia a "serious threat." The huge surge in fear of Russia -- from 44% to 69% -- seems to be due entirely to Ukraine. 81% of the poll-respondents said that "Russia's actions in Ukraine are ... a violation of international law." Only 12% said that it's not. Asked whether "there was any justification for Russia's actions in Ukraine," 72% said "No," and only 17% said "Yes," despite the fact that the U.S. is now preparing to place nuclear missiles right near Moscow.

When asked "Do you think it is likely or not that there will be a new cold war," 48% said "Likely," and 49% said "Not likely."

And when asked "Do you worry about the possibility of nuclear war with Russia," 40% said "Yes," and 59% said "No."

The threat feared from Russia is mainly of their troops, who are manning bases for Russian Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), all of which are located inside Russia. There also are a small number of nuclear-weapons-equipped submarines that Russia stations off U.S. shores.

By contrast, the U.S. has troops in many countries, which include the following nations where our soldiers are stationed (and this includes ones with missile bases located near Russia): Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan.

We also have some soldiers in other former parts of the U.S.S.R.: Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

We also have nearly 35,000 troops stationed in Japan, a nation near Russia and that claims ownership of four small Sakhalin Islands and two small Kuril Islands, from Russia.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that (more...)
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