Russia was also in the international limelight as it hosted the most recent winter Olympic games and is slated to host the next World Cup.The country is in the process of building 12 new stadiums for the 2018 World Cup, and it spent about billion on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.Nearly half of Russians have an unfavorable view of the European Union (49 percent), and only 8 percent have a favorable opinion of it.In contrast, 11 percent of Russians said they had a negative opinion of the European Union two years ago, and 24 percent said they had a positive opinion.
Russians see China as an ally and the United States and the European Union as adversaries; however, most Russians believe their country should make at least some effort to improve its relationship with the United States and the European Union.
At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses Western nations of interfering in Ukraine to help remove Victor Yanukovych, the former president who fled to Russia in February 2014.
Putin has also repeatedly told the Russian public that the economic sanctions are part of a broader strategy by the United States and its allies to intentionally weaken Russia.
The survey, funded by NORC at the University of Chicago, also shows that a majority of Russians do not think society should accept lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people, and the results indicate the public has grown less tolerant of LGBT people in the last two years.
The AP-NORC Center directed this study to explore the Russian public’s attitudes toward both domestic and international affairs, and it includes a nationally representative in-person survey of 2,008 Russian adults between November 22 and December 7, 2014.