Russian citizens have named the United States, Ukraine and Turkey as the country's greatest enemies, according to a poll by the independent Levada Center, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Thursday.
The United States topped the list of countries, being named as hostile by 72 percent of respondents, followed by Ukraine with 48 percent of respondents. It is the highest level ever recorded for the Ukraine, which was seen as an enemy by only 37 percent of those surveyed in 2015.
Turkey was seen as an enemy by 29 percent of Russian respondents, a dramatic shift for the country, which was considered hostile by only 1 percent of Russian respondents in 2015.
Relations between Moscow and Kiev have been considered bad by Russians since 2014, Levada Center Deputy Director Alexei Grazhdankin said. Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014.
“There are more and more Russians who see Ukraine as an enemy. As long as the conflict is not solved, it affects Russia's world image. That has an impact on the lives of ordinary Russians, such as the weakening of the ruble, the inability to travel abroad,” Grazhdankin told Vedomosti.
Belarus, Kazakhstan and China were named as Russia's closest allies, with half of all respondents believing Belarus to have a friendly attitude toward Russia. Kazakhstan and China were named by 39 and 34 percent respectively, according to the poll.