Perception of Russia, Putin hits new low

The perception in the United States of Russia and its president is at an all-time low, according to a new survey. 

Gallup found that 60 percent of people have an unfavorable opinion of Russia, while 34 percent have a favorable view of the country. 

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Russia’s unfavorable rating has never been higher. It last peaked in 1999 at 59 percent. Similarly, Russia’s favorable rating with the U.S. public has dropped below today’s 34 percent rating only once before. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin's unfavorable rating also reached a new high, with 63 percent of people expressing an unfavorable view. That shot up 9 percentage points since Gallup’s poll last year, shortly following a critical op-ed Putin published in The New York Times

His favorable rating stands at 19 percent, unmoved since last year. That is down from an all-time high of 41 percent in 2002. 

Relations between Russia and the U.S. have been tense even as the Winter Olympics are underway in Sochi, Russia. 

The U.S. has disagreed with the country over a number of issues in the past year, including intervention in Syria, the country’s decision to grant amnesty to Edward Snowden and its treatment of gays and lesbians. 

The latest tiff came after U.S. officials pinned the blame on Russia for a secretly recorded phone call between U.S. diplomats about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The audio showed one U.S. official disparaging the European Union.  

“Over the past year, Russia has pursued a much more aggressive stance on the world stage than at any time in the new millennium. In his first term in office, Putin was viewed more favorably than unfavorably by the American public, but Americans now see him in a clearly unfavorable light,” Gallup wrote in an analysis. 

The poll surveyed 1,018 people last week and has a 4-point margin of error.