- The majority of the world now disapproves of Russia’s leadership, Gallup found.
- A median of 57% across the 137 countries surveyed disapprove of Russia’s leadership.
- Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has made it a pariah.
Approval of Russia’s leadership “plunged” across the world after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, according to new Gallup polling.
The majority of the world now disapproves of Russia’s leadership — a first in the history of Gallup tracking ratings of world leaders, which began in 2007. Putin has ruled over Russia throughout that time, rising to power in 1999 and serving as either president or prime minister since; an approved referendum allows him to stay in power until 2036.
A median of 57% across the 137 countries surveyed by Gallup said they disapprove of Russia’s leadership, which is synonymous with Putin and the oligarchs and security officials who keep him in power. Just a year before, that number stood at 38% — showing how disapproval of Russia’s leadership skyrocketed worldwide after the invasion of Ukraine. Majorities in 81 out of 137 countries said they disapprove of Russia’s leadership.
While approval of Russian leadership stood at a median of 33% in 2021, it dropped all the way to 21% in 2022, Gallup said.
“Approval of Russia dropped in virtually every region of the world,” per Gallup.
—Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) April 25, 2023
The Kremlin has found itself politically and economically isolated since Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, sparking the largest military conflict in Europe since World War II.
Russia has been condemned in the UN over the war and Moscow has faced widespread accusations of war crimes. The International Criminal Court also issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest last month over allegations of involvement in the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children, cementing the Russian leader’s status as a global pariah — though he’s unlikely to ever stand trial.
Meanwhile, the Russian economy has suffered under the weight of unprecedented sanctions issued by the US and its allies. That said, as the EU moves to end its reliance on Russian energy in response to the war, India and China have continued to purchase Russian oil — providing Moscow with a lifeline as the fighting in Ukraine rages on.
The war in Ukraine has shown no signs of abating, and negotiations to end the bloodshed are seemingly unlikely to occur in the near future. As the conflict continues, it’s possible that Russia’s leadership could continue to face growing levels of disapproval across the world.