Poll: 69 percent see Russia as threat to US

Sixty-nine percent of people see Russia as a threat to the United States — the highest level recorded since the breakup of the Soviet Union, according to a new poll. 

A CNN-ORC poll released Friday found another 31 percent say they do not see Russia as a threat. That number stood at 53 percent two years ago. 

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is also seen in a negative light by 68 percent of people. Only 11 percent said they have a positive view of him. 

Recent polling has shown the United States’s view of Russia has been at all-time lows. Those numbers have only declined after Russian forces invaded Crimea, a southern peninsula in Ukraine. 

Seven in 10 said there is no justification for Russia’s action in Ukraine. Eight in 10 say the move has violated international law. 

Putin has said it was necessary to protect ethnic Russians in the region. And Russian officials have said the country does not plan other military movement further into eastern Ukraine. 

Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia on Friday it risks “enormous consequences” if Russia annexes Crimea. The region is slated Sunday to vote on a referendum to secede from Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that Russia respects the effort. However, he said Putin would wait for Sunday’s results before making a decision on moving forward. 

The CNN poll also shows that nearly 50 percent of respondents believe a new cold war with Russia is likely in the next few years. Another 40 percent said they are worried about nuclear war with the country. 

The poll, conducted a week ago, surveyed 801 people and has a 3.5 percentage point margin of error. 

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