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The world is sending a clear message: Russia, we disapprove.
According to a recent Gallup poll, the world is turning its back on Russia.
For the first time since Gallup started tracking world leaders’ approval ratings, most of the world disapproves of Russia’s leadership. Here are some key takeaways:
Gallup's 2022 survey of 137 countries and territories revealed a 57% median disapproval rating for Russian leadership - the highest point since tracking began in 2007. In just one year, disapproval increased dramatically from 38% to 57%.
Majorities in 81 out of 137 countries surveyed in 2022 disapproved of the Russian leadership.
Approval of Russia’s leadership is down to one in five people globally. Russian leadership approval dropped from a median of 33% in 2021 to 21% in 2022.
This drop erased the steady gains in approval observed between 2014, when Russia first invaded Ukraine and occupied the Crimean Peninsula, and 2020 when approval hit 34%.
Disapproval of Russia's leadership increased by at least ten percentage points in 84 countries and territories surveyed in 2021 and 2022.
The largest increase was observed in Lithuania, a NATO member and former Soviet republic, where disapproval rose from 44% in 2021 to 91% in 2022.
The percentage who have no opinion of Russia’s leadership has reached a new low.
At the start of Gallup's worldwide leadership survey, a median of 35% of respondents across surveyed countries stated that they did not know enough about Russia's leadership to provide a rating.
This percentage was higher than the median percentages of those who approved or disapproved. This percentage reached a new low of 18% in 2022.
Disapproval surged in Taiwan (26% to 72%) and Romania (37% to 79%). This suggests that Russia's actions have left less space for neutral, undecided feelings about the country's leadership.
Latin American populations were most likely to shift toward disapproval of the Kremlin, despite leaders in the region trying to stay neutral. Only Costa Rica joined in sanctions against Moscow.
Still, the people in Latin American countries were less neutral. The percentage of people who disapproved of Russia's leaders went up from 31% in 2021 to 61% in 2022. The percentage of people who approved went down from 37% to 16%.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the shift toward disapproval of Russian leadership was less pronounced, but it did happen. Russia spends significant resources managing perceptions of Russia in Africa, and it sometimes tries to portray Ukraine as threatening their food supply.
Approval of Russia's leadership fell from a median of 45% in 2021 to 35% in 2022. The median disapproval, at 32%, did not exceed the median approval from the previous year.
Approval of Russian leadership has fallen sharply in a key ally: Kazakhstan. The oil-rich Central Asian state has traditionally been close to Russia. Despite this, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has joined in Western sanctions against Russia and sent aid to Ukraine.
Public approval of Russian leadership among the people of Kazakhstan fell from 55% in 2021 to 29% in 2022. At the same time, disapproval has risen from 20% to 50%.
The world is sending a clear message: Russia, we disapprove (19-point rise in median disapproval among 137 countries). In spite of Russia's best efforts to influence public opinion, attitudes have dramatically shifted away from Russia.