Where we do not like
On the eve of the G20 summit, the American research center Pew Research examined the attitude towards Russia in the 38 countries of the world. It turned out that, on average, opinions were divided almost equally: 39% of respondents rated us negatively, and 36% - positively. Much more interesting results for individual countries.
It turned out that most of all they dislike us in Israel (77% negative opinions versus 21% positive). A lot of those who are dissatisfied with us live in Jordan (70% versus 25%). Despite our love of Turkish resorts, as many as 66% (against 19%) of Turkish citizens do not like us. The love of Egyptian resorts also did not provide our country with the loyalty of the majority of Egyptians - here 64% of respondents have a negative attitude towards Russia (and only 30% have a positive attitude).
In addition, we are passionately disliked in the Palestinian Authority (57%), Lebanon (53%) and (suddenly) South Africa (53%).
As for Europe, here the leaders in negative perception are France (64%), Germany (60%), Italy (56%) and Poland (54%). But, for example, in the UK, Russophobic sentiments are quite moderate against the background of the rest of Europe - 39% negative reviews against 38% positive.
Separate talk about the US - here 43% of respondents dislike us, 37% are favorable to us.
There are very few countries where a positive attitude towards us with you clearly prevails over a negative one. This is Greece - 63% positive opinions versus 33% negative and South Korea - 53% positive versus 33% negative. In China, we love 49% of respondents against 39% disliking.
Dislike as a sign of independence
It is necessary to draw conclusions.
First about the general. Personally, I, as a person who has been monitoring the foreign press and social networks for a long time and intently, am surprised that, on average, there are so many people in the world that support us. Considering the shaft of anti-Russian propaganda, fictions and myths about you and me, pushing at foreign citizens, I thought that in their perception we were already little different from North Korea. However, the power of the media, apparently limited to the common sense of their readers, which pleases.
Another thing is interesting - for what exactly they do not like us. The explanation in the spirit of "Russians do not know how to behave abroad" has long since lost its relevance. Moreover, they actively dislike us in countries that are not related to the usual tourist routes.
They do not like us mainly for their own, different from the generally accepted position on many issues, which have become louder and harder to declare lately. This can be confirmed by the fact that the perception of Russia in the world has been steadily deteriorating since 2007.
A huge contribution to the dislike of us made our firm position on the protection of the sovereignty of Syria. So, in Jordan, because of her, they began to condemn us by 23% more, in Egypt - by 16%, in Israel - by 8%.
The reluctance to join the deviant tendencies spoiled our reputation in Europe and the USA. The constant position on the Kuril Islands feeds dislike on the part of the Japanese. And so on. The more independent our opinions, the more they dislike us — this is natural.
If we talk from this position, then the growth of the negative assessment of Russia in the world is a sign of the growth of our independence. We can already afford to think independently, regardless of opinions, and that's great. However, you should not get involved.
Image as a tool of diplomacy
It would be possible to simply give up on opinions and continue to defend our positions, but it is better to supplement this with explanatory work that will allow us to convey to the world not only our positions, but also the reasons for which we adhere to them. If we had the opportunity to promptly refute at least a third of the absurdity that is carried about in the foreign media, then the perception of Russia in the world would dramatically improve.
So, the other day in one western newspaper, the author, analyzing the generosity of Russian tourists at foreign resorts, convinced the reader that this was a result of repression inside Russia: that, having escaped from the embrace of the bloody regime, Russians rush to spend money to raise their self-esteem. And so everywhere.
In fact, only Russia Today is currently confronting all this madness. I think if it were not for his work, they would not have loved us much more than the survey showed. But this is certainly not enough.
Positioning Russia in the world should be dealt with and not for the sake of indulging one's own pride, but in order to limit the permissiveness of our overseas partners. After all, they have long learned to use their international image for political purposes. And the persecution of our country in the media is one of the instruments of deterrence. Skillful manipulation of public opinion, the imposition of myths about Russia to him leads to the fact that all our decisions and initiatives are beginning to be perceived as hostile, regardless of their real content.
Surprisingly, Russia is perceived worse in the world than the United States. Far more respondents are positive towards the United States (63%), rather than Russia (36%). Although it seems that the United States is leading wars all over the world, killing civilians, persecuting the whistleblowers of their crimes and tapping phones. However, all these "pranks" have little effect on the positive assessment of Americans in the world - such is the power of the media.
Therefore, do not dismiss the survey data - it is not empty numbers. On the contrary, it is necessary to actively promote your vision, your values in the world and position them as opposed to Euro-Atlantic views. Then over time, the picture of the poll will change to the opposite, which means it will be easier for us on the foreign policy arena.
As well as possible, the distinguished Anatoly Wasserman said about this in his quatrain:
“The farther from home borders
meet a hostile threat -
the less risk to feel
its near native birch. "