With Russia threatening to invade Ukraine and reviving Cold War levels of suspicion and brinksmanship, some have begun to speculate about the possibility of a full-blown military conflict between the US and Russia. However, the vast majority of experts believe that any war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers would quickly turn into a nuclear exchange that could wipe out all life on Earth.
As such, the United States has largely focused its efforts against Russia in support of Ukraine and aimed to keep the country independent from Putin’s control. In addition to placing economic sanctions on Russia and providing nonlethal security aid to Ukraine, the United States has also ramped up military exercises in Eastern Europe.
Despite these actions, American public opinion of Russia remains deeply negative. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, seven-in-ten Americans (73%) have a very unfavorable view of Russia, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats. Those with a college degree or higher are 5 percentage points more likely to have a very negative view of Russia than those with only a high school education or less.
Most Americans have little doubt that Russia poses a serious threat to their nation’s national security, with 71% saying the country is an enemy. This is especially true among older adults, with seven-in-ten people ages 65 and up viewing Russia as an enemy. The share of Americans who consider Russia an enemy has fallen slightly since last year.