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Most Mentioned Enemies of Russia

How did Russian citizens respond to this poll question: "Which five countries would you say are the most unfriendly or hostile towards Russia"?
As of 2016. Source
Last updated: May 01, 2018
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% Mentioned
Country
72
United States
48
Ukraine
29
Turkey
24
Poland
23
Latvia
% Mentioned
Country
23
Lithuania
19
Germany
18
United Kingdom
16
Estonia
10
Georgia
% Mentioned
Country
6
Canada
4
Japan
3
Egypt
3
Finland
3
Syria
+8
level 70
May 1, 2018
Took me a long time to get Egypt. Suprised Georgia is so low, given the August War in 2008 and the continuing tensions over South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
+1
level 66
May 1, 2018
I missed the least guessed answer. It did seem quite a random one to me, the others I can see the logic in their inclusion, but it seemed to stand out. As for Georgia, I guess its size and the fact the 'war' was pretty much a walk over means Russians don't see them as a huge threat. Interesting quiz though.
+1
level 60
Jul 10, 2018
The war was not exactly related to Georgia or its people (going beyond the obvious). I went to that small country about a year ago and there were Russians everywhere in the non-conflict areas with no hostility shown towards them. The Georgian people told me "We love the Russian people, hate the government." So...
+4
level 79
May 1, 2018
Interesting. The source also lists countries that are perceived as Russia's greates allies and there are a couple of countries that are in the top 15 on both lists.
+11
level 58
May 2, 2018
At some point the poll might be measuring "countries Russian have heard about/think about". Another possibility is that there are countries that have a close relationship with Russia but which the Russian public is divided on whether it is a positive or negative relationship.
+7
level 68
May 1, 2018
I'm very surprised (and happy), that Israel didn't make the list.
+6
level 73
May 1, 2018
A pretty large percentage of Israelis are from Russia or have ancestors who were.
+8
level 73
May 1, 2018
It was funny every country I visited that bordered Russia or was formerly under Soviet influence all had museums somewhere dedicated to Russian and Communist atrocities. Visited some in Tbilisi, Prague, Budapest, Kiev, and I think Warsaw. Noticed others many other places. They definitely aren't very good at making friends with their neighbors.
Also interesting to me was the range of attitudes I found in the people of Russia. These included the girl who, when told about my friends in Ukraine who really hated Russia, remarked "well, they're not wrong to," and another girl who, when I was playing a video on YouTube very soberly and matter-of-factly talking about Russian involvement in Ukraine became extremely upset and emotional and starting ranting about the media's lies and how mistreated all the poor Russians in Ukraine were (I think simultaneously implying that Russia was not involved in Ukraine, but that they should be to defend the poor Russian-Ukrainians there)
+9
level 73
May 1, 2018
Seems strange that a large country you have open border disputes with, 1.2 billion citizens, nuclear weapons and shares more hotly contested borders with your closest allies isn't mentioned but Egypt is.
+1
level 57
May 2, 2018
There is no border dispute between Russia and China.
+4
level 74
Jul 10, 2018
Having grown up with the Sino-Soviet Split and the possibility of war between the two powers, I can attest that they have a history of border disputes. I don't think the final settlement on the latest one was signed until sometime in the new millennium, and even though there is currently no official border dispute, tensions there are still simmering and could flare up any time in spite of their willingness to work together as economic partners.
+2
level 21
May 3, 2018
Look up BRICS. That should answer this.
+2
level 54
May 1, 2018
Interesting that at least 10 out of the 15 countries on the list are either direct neighbours or situated very very near...
+3
level 70
Jul 10, 2018
I mean, that's a lot of countries...
+1
level 65
Jul 11, 2018
It must be dreadful to be one of Russia's neighbors.
+7
level 43
May 1, 2018
For those wondering why Egypt is on the list, it might be due to the terror attack by Daesh against a plane in late October 2015, above Sinai following its departure from Sharm el Sheikh. Otherwise, I don't see why Egypt would be on this list.
+3
level 46
May 1, 2018
i dont know how Lithuania is a threat to any country
+4
level 52
May 2, 2018
It is the Russian minority population living in Lithuania that are evidently feeling threatened. Also, Lithuania does not border Russia proper, but borders the exclave Kaliningrad, so could threaten it with the backing of the EU, a block much more powerful than Russia.
+2
level 75
May 2, 2018
I didn't realize that Lithuania didn't actually border Russia, but now see that Belarus is between them. There's my new fact for the day, thanks amgine! :-)
+7
level 57
May 2, 2018
But it does border Russia...
+1
level 58
Jul 10, 2018
No it doesn't. Look at a map of Europe and you will see.
+1
level 67
Jul 10, 2018
Look closer. Find Kaliningrad on a map. There is a non-contiguous region of Russia that borders Lithuania.
+2
level 70
Jul 10, 2018
Well the original comment said Russia proper, implying they were excluding Kaliningrad.
+2
level 60
May 1, 2018
Curious that "United States itself" made the list for every year represented in the U.S. equivalent to this quiz (regardless of who was President), but that Russians do not see their own government/leaders as potential enemies/threats. Russians could perhaps do with a dose of the skepticism/suspicion that seems natural to Americans.
+6
level 56
May 2, 2018
"Russians" tend to be full of skepticism towards their own government. Never ever have they trusted their own government, not in centuries, so it's not really a "threat". Maybe they trust(ed) selected leader figures, but never the remaining bureaucracy, from the prime minister down to the local postman. No need for 'suspicion' since the wide-spread existence of corruption, focus on personal gain, and nepotism are common knowledge. Source: Russian friends in Russia.
+4
level 65
May 3, 2018
I can't account for translations, but it says above that the question posed to Russians involved identifying countries that had a negative attitude toward Russia. I think that's different than the question for the U.S. quiz.
+1
level 73
Jul 11, 2018
People are much the same everywhere. There are Americans who trust their government and those who don't. There are Russians who trust their government and those who don't. I think a couple commenters above are using different definitions of what it means to be skeptical. Americans traditionally are very distrustful of what they see as authority figures. I think many Russians are similarly cynical about their own leaders. But if you convince anyone that you are on their side and part of the team, it's easy to convince large numbers of people to believe almost anything and there are certain media outlets (Fox, Russia Today) that are exploiting this fact egregiously.
I wish that all people were more properly skeptical, as I define it- capable of thinking critically about any and all information whether it confirms your biases or trust or not. But this is in short supply everywhere. Human beings are prone to accepting the reality they are presented with. Skepticism has to be learned.
+10
level 57
May 3, 2018
Obviously I can't speak for all Americans, but I don't have any problem with Russian people. North Korean people. Afghan people. Syrians. Whoever. It's their leaders that are causing the problem. I hope you feel precisely the same way about us. We're just normal people trying to live life and take internet quizzes, man.
+1
level 73
Jun 6, 2018
I almost completely agree with that opinion. As that old song from "South Pacific" so eloquently puts it - "you have to be taught to hate and fear". Without the prejudices that we learn from those in authority: parents, teachers, government, media, etc. we might actually all get along much better. I do, however, feel that it's not just foreign leaders, but that our leaders bear an equal share of the responsibility as do we as US citizens for electing them and then returning them to office after they've shown their true colors.
+2
level 56
Jul 10, 2018
I found this to be the case when I visited Cuba. I was worried about hostility, especially when I went to Guantanamo, but everyone was very welcoming. I finally got the courage to ask a Cuban about it, and his response was just that: "We have no problem with you. We're happy you're here. It's your government we hate." I would also guess that this attitude is more likely in a country like Cuba, where the government controls so much of people's daily lives that the citizens can easily understand that a government's whims does not necessarily reflect the values of most of its citizens.
+1
level 73
May 15, 2018
My methodology for this one: countries that share a land or naval border, or with whom they have a territorial dispute (got United States, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia, Canada, Japan, Finland), historic or Cold War enemies (got Germany and the United Kingdom), recent enemies (got Turkey) and, just for fun, allies (got Syria). Basically, they fear their neighbors (or are told to hate the countries they're most likely to invade). But Egypt? My system failed me on Egypt.
+2
level 73
Jul 10, 2018
Egypt and the Soviet Union were close allies during the Cold War under the leadership of charismatic Arabist leader Gamel Nasser. When Anwar Sadat took over and pivoted toward the West, Russo-Egyptian relations quickly soured and would not be normalized until Mubarak.
Since then Egypt became an extremely popular tourist destination for Russians. I'm not sure what it's like now, but if you had visited the popular resort city Sharm al-Shaikh any time 5-10 years ago you would have seen most of the tourists there were Russian to the point where hotel signage and staff were more likely to be written in/speak Russian than English.
In 2015 a Metrojet (Russian) passenger jet full of Russian tourists departed from Sharm on its way back to Russia. It exploded mid-air killing everyone on board. ISIS's Sinai branch took credit and Russia suspended all flights going to Egypt.
+1
level 69
Jun 25, 2018
The three countries I missed were so small (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) that I thought they couldn't possibly be viewed as a threat by Russia. Who they view as a threat and the percentages is very random.
+2
level 73
Jul 10, 2018
Russian state propaganda continuously pumps jingoistic paranoid nonsense into the minds of its people informing them about how the Russian-speaking populations in *every* neighboring country are being mistreated and abused, to prime the population for any eventual invasion that Russia decides to make to "come to the defense" of the Russian people in those countries. We've seen this happen already in Georgia and Ukraine; the Baltic states are very worried it might happen there next. If Russia's puppet in the White House continues to do their bidding by undermining every strategic alliance built since the end of WW2 and designed to contain Russia, and NATO falls apart, then it might happen at some point.
+2
level 32
Jul 10, 2018
Appears to be a list of countries that Russians feel hate them, not the other way around.
+1
level 73
Jul 10, 2018
we know
+1
level 42
Jul 10, 2018
I feel so stupid I guessed every answer except Turkey and Ukraine.
+1
level 61
Jul 10, 2018
As a Ukrainian/British person I am appalled and horrified to think that so many Russians might just hate me without even knowing me because of the corrupting influence of their own government. If you look at the poll itself you'll see it indicates that Russian and Ukrainian friendship was actually quite high until 2014 when it very sharply plummeted following the shambles in Crimea etc. Whilst I would like to see Mr Putin brought before an international court of justice for trampling on his own country, as well as the innocent bystanders in foreign countries for his own ends, of course in the long run it wonnot do much good since Russia clearly has an inherent problem with appointing complete sociopaths as their leaders, and they'll just find another one to replace him. That goes for Ukrainian puppet leaders as well. Everyone would be just as well off with Rasputin in charge, then we'd all have a fun time at least for a while.
+1
level 48
Jul 10, 2018
Surprised that France does not appears in the quizz, it seems to be in the source.
+1
level 40
Jul 10, 2018
This may explain it: The French press highlighted that ISIS is the first common enemy that France and Russia fight shoulder to shoulder since World War II. A Russian newspaper recalled that "WWII had forced the Western World and the Soviet Union to overcome their ideological differences", wondering whether ISIS would be the "new Hitler".[
+1
level 73
Jul 11, 2018
That doesn't explain why it's listed in the source (with 4% of respondents answering that way) but not on the quiz.
+2
level 45
Jul 10, 2018
But why Syria?
+3
level 73
Jul 10, 2018
The situation in Syria is very complex and 3% isn't a very high number of people. I'm guessing those 3% who answered that way are slightly confused.
+1
level 59
Jul 10, 2018
- Historic enemies - Former USSR constituents - Rivals in modern power struggles - Syria for some reason?
+2
level 38
Jul 10, 2018
Any country that list Canada as an enemies is either very delusional or controlled by totalitarian regime.
+2
level 56
Jul 10, 2018
Or they're just salty that Canada has surpassed them as the preeminent force in their national sport.
+3
level 40
Jul 10, 2018
Case in point: the United States.
+1
level 73
Jul 11, 2018
There's a quiz on this site about perceived enemies of the United States. Canada isn't one of the answers. But you guys never miss an opportunity to publicly express your complex. It's like a never ending group therapy session.
+1
level 80
Jul 10, 2018
It's actually kind of funny how "hostility" needs no qualifiers as to why that just might be the case. The explanation for more than half of these answers is "No duh, look what Russia did to them!"
+2
level 50
Jul 11, 2018
Something it seems a lot of people are overlooking is that the survey question does not ask about "threats", it just asks who acts the unfriendliest/most hostile to Russia. That's why so many smaller, less-influential countries like Georgia and Estonia are on the list.
+1
level 66
Jul 11, 2018
I’m guessing Finland must relate to the whole Karelia situation, because otherwise, that has got to be the most bizarre answer to feature, even if they are neighbours. Who on earth are The Finns bothering?!
+1
level 29
Aug 2, 2018
I am surprised that North Korea is not mentioned at all on this list, even though Australia is. North Korean rhetoric and actions are a lot more threatening to the Russian people than anything the Aussies have ever done....
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