It is hard to expect a different attitude to Russia, and it is not about the matter of the “Cold War legacy”
Gallup International conducted a large-scale opinion poll in June-August of the current year. The poll was devoted to people's attitude to the countries incorporated in the Group of Eight. Sociologists asked the question to 50,000 people from 60 countries of the world.
The United States ranks first on the number of people's negative opinions. Thirty-four percent of respondents said that they treated America negatively. Russia follows the USA with 25 percent. Great Britain takes the third place (18 percent), followed by Germany, Japan and France – 12, 13 and 14 percent of respondents expressed their negative attitude about these countries respectively. Italy and Canada evoke the smallest outburst of negative emotions – eleven and eight percent.
Thirty-one percent of respondents said that their attitude to Russia was rather positive. Forty percent sympathized with the USA and India. Canada is the winner again – 49 percent said that they liked the country.
Russia evoked quite negative feelings with people living in Western Europe and the Middle East (Turkey, Egypt). The citizens of all post-Soviet republics, as well as Southern Europe (Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece and even Albania) and South-East Asia (Vietnam) expressed their positive emotions about Russia.
What conclusions can be made from the poll? The most valuable feature of the research is the statement of fact. There is no need to dwell on the world's negative attitude to the US. Muslim countries' negative attitude to Russia is also clear: the war in Chechnya. Russia is partially guilty of the situation: until recently, Russian authorities did not conduct any propaganda in Muslim countries in an attempt to explain that the conflict in Chechnya was not a religious conflict at all.
It is hard to expect a different attitude to Russia, and it is not about the matter of the so-called “Cold War legacy.” What impression might a Frenchman, a Belgian, a Japanese or a Korean national have about Russia, if mass media of those (and many other) countries report that the Russian government suppresses freedom of speech, imprisons its political adversaries, that almost every other Russian person is a criminal, etc, and the list ends with reports about bears walking in the streets of Russian towns. Surprisingly, there are people, whose thoughts and feelings about Russia are filled with positive emotions.
In general, the matter of likes and dislikes is not really relevant today. Turkey and Egypt, for example, organize large-scale advertising of their resorts in Russian media every year.