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Despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a recent survey among Russians indicates that the country has dropped from being the second-biggest enemy of Russia in 2021 to its fifth-largest adversary in 2023.

Previously, 40% of Russians identified the country as an enemy, according to information published by Statista. But that number has decreased to 26% in the most recent survey. Respondents were asked to name Russia’s five biggest enemies by the Levada Center, a Russian non-governmental organization. Levada conducts regular surveys on the views of the Russian people regarding friends and enemies. These surveys generally reflect the official positions of the Russian government.

Meanwhile, as Ukraine drops, increasingly negative perceptions of Ukraine’s allies are evident in Russia. The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Poland are the most disliked among them as of May 2023.

Currently, 72% of Russians consider the United States an enemy, an increase of 8% points from two years ago. Disapproval of the latter three countries has risen significantly faster, increasing between 21 and 32 percentage points. Germany, in particular, has experienced the most significant increase in negative sentiment. This is despite being Russia’s former ally.

On the other hand, when it comes to Russia’s biggest allies, Belarus, China, and India have risen. They gained between 18% and 20% points in approval ratings over the past two years. However, Kazakhstan, which has expressed opposition to the war in Ukraine, has experienced a decline.

These beliefs are not necessarily shared by the majority of Russians. A large majority of respondents consider Belarus and the United States among the top five friends and enemies of Russia, respectively. Smaller majorities of 58% and 51% agreed to include China and the United Kingdom as major friends and foes of Russia.

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