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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 2020. Source
Quiz by Gyrenaica
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Last updated: March 4, 2021
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First submittedOctober 19, 2015
Times taken72,987
Average score73.3%
Rating4.73
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% Mentioned
Country
60
United States
35
Ukraine
29
United Kingdom
26
Latvia
26
Lithuania
26
Poland
16
Georgia
15
Germany
% Mentioned
Country
11
Estonia
7
Afghanistan
7
Canada
6
Iraq
4
Iran
4
Japan
4
Syria
+3
Level 74
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.
+19
Level 80
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.
+7
Level 75
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.
+3
Level 82
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.

+1
Level 87
Mar 6, 2021
Lots of skeptical, distrustful people in Washington on January 6, 2021. None, however, capable of critical thinking or willing to engage in it.
+3
Level 82
Mar 11, 2021
Being delusional or paranoid is not the same thing as being properly skeptical.
+6
Level 89
Dec 8, 2019
I wouldn't wish any of the conspiracy laden, partisan blind, self-hate that America wallows in upon another country.
+3
Level 82
Jan 28, 2020
Russia would. They're the chief international exporter of this sort of thing, and the USA is their best customer.
+24
Level 55
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.
+6
Level 72
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.
+8
Level 67
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 68
Apr 29, 2020
Exactly. These countries didn't ask for all of this to happen to them. Russia didn't ask for Lenin's Revolution. Syria didn't ask for Assad's "leadership". North Korea didn't ask for Soviet Occupation, or to be forced to become a Communist. The populations of these countries are not asking for bad stuff.
+3
Level 78
Mar 11, 2021
BotswanaEmperor: It seems that large parts of Russia did indeed ask for the October Revolution, although it was not just "Lenin's Revolution". According to Wikipedia, the February Revolution which got rid of the Tsar, "appeared to have broken out without any real leadership or formal planning." At the time, getting rid of the monarchy and trying out another form of government which (they hoped) would improve the lives of workers, was surely seen as good stuff by many Russians.
+1
Level 59
Nov 21, 2021
The Russians absolutely did support Lenin's revolution; if they didn't then it couldn't have been successful.

North Korea wasn't "forced" to become socialist any more than South Korea was forced to become capitalist.

+4
Level 84
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.
+6
Level 82
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.

+2
Level 68
Apr 29, 2020
I find it quite strange that they have hostilities towards most of the countries they border in Europe, but are just kinda "meh" to Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
+3
Level 82
May 18, 2020
Mongolia is interesting. They followed a similar pattern to many East European countries in the Soviet sphere: officially adopting a one-party Communist government, then going through a Soviet-backed reign of terror for decades after that. For some reason, though, Mongolians don't seem to hold a grudge about this, and relations between the two countries remain pretty positive.

Kazakhstan and some of the other former SSR countries that retained more authoritarian governments (notably Belarus and Uzbekistan) have maintained closer ties to Moscow than most of these other countries. Maybe because in countries that became more democratic, the common people's recollection of living under Soviet-backed authoritarian governments is more likely to find expression in the modern politics of those countries.

+1
Level 71
Mar 11, 2021
Not sure about Kazakhstan. I think they've been trying to distance themselves from Russia recently. The most obvious display of this is when, a few years back, they decided they wanted to switch their language over to the Latin alphabet instead of keeping the Cyrillic one. They've also tried to cultivate closer ties with the US and China through trade deals.

It's possible though that Kazakhstan sees Russia as a threat and not vice versa for whatever reason.

+1
Level 78
Mar 11, 2021
Mongolia might also be a case of, well, we really don't think about that part of Asia too much. They also act as a buffer between Russia and China.
+2
Level 74
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.
+9
Level 82
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.
+1
Level 82
Feb 25, 2022
I told you so.
+1
Level 63
May 31, 2022
There are very strong anti-Russian sentiments in the Baltic countries, and I know this not from TV or the Internet. When the Latvians heard my Russian speech, they pointedly left (Poles and nationalist Kazakhs and Ukrainians did the same). Russian Russian friend, who was talking to a Latvian, told about the aggressive attitude of Latvians towards Russians. This is only what I have seen or heard personally. Therefore, Russophobia in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania is real, although exaggerated by propaganda
+2
Level 82
Oct 20, 2022
Phobia is an irrational fear. The fears Russia's neighbors have seem entirely rational.
+6
Level 58
Jul 10, 2018
Appears to be a list of countries that Russians feel hate them, not the other way around.
+1
Level 82
Jul 10, 2018
we know
+2
Level 77
Apr 8, 2020
The question apparently wasn't "which country is a threat" but "which country is hostile/an enemy".
+1
Level 57
Jul 10, 2018
I feel so stupid I guessed every answer except Turkey and Ukraine.
+1
Level 53
Jul 10, 2018
Surprised that France does not appears in the quizz, it seems to be in the source.
+1
Level 45
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".[

+2
Level 82
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.
+3
Level 61
Jul 10, 2018
But why Syria?
+9
Level 82
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.
+8
Level 36
Jul 10, 2018
Any country that list Canada as an enemies is either very delusional or controlled by totalitarian regime.
+10
Level 67
Jul 10, 2018
Or they're just salty that Canada has surpassed them as the preeminent force in their national sport.
+5
Level 51
Jul 10, 2018
Case in point: the United States.
+4
Level 82
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 63
May 31, 2022
kalbahamut either has a bad experience of communicating with Russians, or CNN is always on
+1
Level 82
Oct 20, 2022
... the 20 seconds I spent trying to make sense of this comment I'm sure is more than it deserved.
+1
Level 49
Mar 21, 2019
But the question asked was whether Russians think that particular country dislikes them. Not if they are disliked by Russians
+1
Level 91
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!"
+5
Level 67
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.
+2
Level 43
Mar 5, 2021
Yes, Estonia and the other Baltic countries on the list have significant Russian minority groups and Russians think they are not treated well, so...
+1
Level 67
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 77
Apr 8, 2020
But there is really no "Karelia situation" at all, although some very limited extremist groups in Finland keep speaking about it. However, those groups have occasionally been discussed in the Russian media, so your explanation might be valid. There is also another negative topic related to Finland that I know being taken up by the Russian media every now and then: parenthood disputes concerning children who have Russian mother and Finnish father or vice versa (I guess the previous combination is way more usual).
+2
Level 66
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....
+1
Level 31
Feb 3, 2019
Cant believe i got all
+3
Level 48
Feb 21, 2019
As an American, I don't really like the current Russian government, but I'm much more worried about my fellow Americans than people anywhere else in the world.
+1
Level 82
Dec 4, 2019
I'm very worried about Trump and his GOP allies, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that they are doing Putin's work for him, either knowingly because they are craven and/or complicit, or unknowingly because they are ignorant morons, or some combination of both. I'm also very worried about the fate of American democracy vis a vis the sorry state of its present electorate and their level of awareness, but a lot of that is to blame on Russian disinformation. On balance I think Putin is the bigger threat here, though if he was removed from the picture I guess that Trump would still be a horrible president and probably destroying the world in some other way; and his supporters would still be ignorant they would just be repeating different lies not related to Russia.
+5
Level 59
Nov 30, 2020
lol why don't people understand the Cold War ended 30 years ago? China is 1000x more dangerous than Russia-- MSNBC is a disease
+2
Level 82
Mar 5, 2021
I'm quite sure I know more about both the Cold War and current events than you do, and your opinion on Russia is no doubt heavily influenced by Russian state and intelligence service propaganda which frequently makes its way into the talking points of Republicans, Republican-friendly news outlets, and even find their way to the lips of Progressive, anti-corporate, or anti-capitalist Leftists on YouTube, et cetera.
+3
Level 44
Mar 11, 2021
@BlazingWinter I'll agree that China is more dangerous than Russia. And if you want to say MSNBC is a disease, you gotta throw all biased (liberal or conservative) news outlets in with it, including Fox. Can't just say one side is a disease and the other isn't.
+1
Level 61
Mar 16, 2021
@Blazing Winter. Yes, I agree. With the collapse of the USSR, the troops and military resources that Moscow could call on shrunk considerably. And although Putin has strived to update and re-equip the Russian armed forces, the Chinese have the economic muscle to outspend their neighbour and they have the population required to dwarf the Russian military.
+1
Level 82
Feb 14, 2022
The main difference between Russia and China is that the former is openly hostile to the US, Western Europe, and NATO, openly and actively interferes in the politics of those countries with the aim of undermining democracy and increasing social unrest and political strife, and has an openly aggressive and expansionist foreign and military policy, with a leader who looks back fondly on the days of Soviet empire, while the latter does not.

While I wouldn't say that China is *not* a threat (they may very well eventually invade Taiwan or Hong Kong, their military might will soon eclipse Russia's and their economic might already did long ago, and their history of authoritarianism, suppression of dissidents, and other human rights abuses is at least as long as the Russians'), the fact that so many Westerners are so scared of them presently has a lot to do with Russian disinformation campaigns meant to distract us from what they are doing. Don't fall for it.

+1
Level 82
Feb 25, 2022
Anybody want to out themselves for the vacuous and credulous ninnies they are today by repeating the Russian intelligence talking point that China is really the bigger threat?
+1
Level 63
May 31, 2022
Kalbahamut, one of your comments said that NATO was created to contain Russia. And the second one says that Russia and Putin are openly aggressive to NATO countries and trying to interfere with them. Don't you think that the second is the consequence and not the cause of the first? After all, NATO and its task appeared much earlier than Putin came to power.
+2
Level 82
Oct 20, 2022
NATO is a defensive pact. It wasn't created as a response to Putin. But it's extremely wrong to say that Putin's actions are in any way to blame on NATO. Waging aggressive, unprovoked war against a peaceful democratic country cannot be blamed on a defensive pact. That is obvious insanity. Russia does not have the right to have any say in the government of Kiev, or Washington, or Minsk, or anywhere else not Moscow. It's not their prerogative to invade any territory they wish it doesn't matter how many Russian-speaking people live in those territories, and if they feel provoked by defensive pacts meant to stop them from doing so... this just proves their evil nature and intent. A peaceful law-abiding country would not be provoked by such a thing.
+2
Level 52
Jun 10, 2019
China is not on this list ? Seriously ? Are these people dumb ?
+1
Level 82
Dec 4, 2019
Well China and Russia have traditionally been allies going back quite a ways, though that could very well change in the near future as their interests are not so aligned anymore.
+1
Level 47
Jun 21, 2019
I was very surprised China and North Korea weren't on the list. Russia and China had the Sino-Soviet split, and North Korea is basically insane and hostile to everyone.
+2
Level 69
Sep 25, 2019
Russia and China were under much different administrations in the Sino-Soviet split and North Korea being "insane and hostile to everyone" is false
+1
Level 68
Aug 15, 2019
Finland? How Finland? One of the fewest countries that people say they are happy and proud to be friends with Russia. These people that answered this poll are freaking out!
+1
Level 82
Dec 4, 2019
Probably a combination of what I said above about Russian propaganda prepping its citizens for any potential future conflict with neighboring states, and some lingering memories of the Winter War.
+3
Level 77
Apr 8, 2020
I'd guess not so much the Winter War (it is not very widely known at all amongst the Russian people) but the next one, 1941-1944 (in which Finland was the attacker and to some extent participant in the siege of Leningrad, too).
+2
Level 82
Apr 29, 2020
That makes more sense.
+2
Level 72
May 5, 2020
A bit surprised not to find Afghanistan on this list, after Russia's little adventure there.
+2
Level ∞
Mar 4, 2021
It is now.
+1
Level 70
Mar 5, 2021
But why should (the official) Afghanistan be a major thread to Russia? Doing Jihad stuff may motivate similar things in some Russian provinces, fine. But the official country? I mean, under permanent fear of getting killed either by a drone or by jihadists, do still have the time to hate Russia (which was by the way fighting along with the government - not like that 2001 invasion)?
+1
Level 71
Dec 2, 2020
We should all definitely be concerned about the Latvian menace. Worse than Belgium!
+1
Level 70
Mar 7, 2021
The minor fact that they occupied the Baltics for 50+ years.
+1
Level 55
Mar 4, 2021
Russia hates Iran? That's news to me.
+3
Level 37
Mar 5, 2021
4% of the interviewed Russian see Iran as a threat. That's not very hated after all, is it?
+1
Level 55
Mar 5, 2021
I thought that there would be at least 60 or so countries that those 4 percent would think of before Iran
+1
Level 54
Mar 5, 2021
Much easier than the friends one.
+1
Level 37
Mar 11, 2021
I expected Turkey to make the list.

And Estonia? Really? Why in heaven?

+2
Level 85
Mar 11, 2021
I'd like to buy the world a Coke, and keep it company . . .
+1
Level 44
Mar 11, 2021
Can't believe Turkey isn't on this quiz. They literally shot down a Russian fighter jet not too long ago. That one really puzzles me.
+1
Level 70
Mar 11, 2021
I missed Germany. *facepalm*
+1
Level 22
Mar 13, 2021
Cool Quiz! I was surprised to see Germany and Poland and somehow I missed Afghanistan but I see how they make sense.
+1
Level 28
Jul 6, 2021
I forgot about baltics
+1
Level 43
Jul 21, 2021
Syria is not an enemy of Russia! It is a Friend of Russia?
+1
Level 73
Nov 6, 2021
I wonder why Latvia and Lithuania ranked the same percentage wise but Estonia was so much lower? Very interesting
+1
Level 86
May 22, 2022
It might be because the question is open-ended, and Latvia and Lithuania are easier to remember as a pair because their names are alliterative.
+1
Level 78
Feb 25, 2022
I would think that Ukraine is much higher on the list today.
+3
Level 82
Feb 25, 2022
Vladimir Putin should be #1 on the list. Hopefully the Russian people will wise up and rise up. I think that there are more who recognize him as a threat than who were fooled into thinking Ukraine was one.
+2
Level 63
May 31, 2022
In Russia, half of the citizens condemn the war in Ukraine, but voicing "It was still necessary to resolve the issue peacefully." But almost no one thinks about the uprising. In general, Russian society is polarized. But the opposition in Russia (Navalny, Sobol, Sobchak, Nemtsov) most often wants and talks about the collapse or weakening of Russia. Therefore, even though Putin's support is not as high (as stated by propaganda), not many people support the opposition.
+2
Level 82
Oct 20, 2022
Russia needs to be broken up the same way the Third Reich was.
+3
Level 63
May 31, 2022
In Russia, there is such a low percentage of those who hate Ukraine, because firstly, there are many Ukrainians in Russia (by blood and newcomers), many people consider Ukraine a fraternal country. Personally, I hate the Ukrainian leadership, but I love Ukraine very much
+2
Level 58
Oct 11, 2022
I think the number of people hating the Russian leadership might exceed any haters of the Ukrainian leadership now. By about 6 billion.
+2
Level 82
Oct 20, 2022
Then stop supporting the guy who is bombing playgrounds and hospitals maybe.
+2
Level 38
Apr 20, 2022
I think that Czech republic would probably make it on the list today...
+1
Level 41
Jun 29, 2022
Damn, I got all of them right except the three Baltic countries.
+1
Level 68
Oct 11, 2022
Should probably update Afghanistan.
+1
Level 61
Nov 15, 2022
Turkey and Russia have been enemies for centuries im very surprised people said Afghanistan or Iran above. Iran doesn't even have that bad of terms and even in 2022. Is the turkish rivalry really that unheard of? Wow.
+1
Level 35
Dec 3, 2022
Nearly everything that borders Russia is "unfriendly" to the Russian people,I do understand that some of the countries are actually meanies, but some are just near their borders or politically against them. I think that this is a great quiz from a great quiz creator. Sincerely, Bob.
+1
Level 25
Dec 22, 2022
most of the "enemies" I can understand, like the Baltics since they joined NATO, Afghanistan as it caused the soviets to lose a war USA cause, well its USA, Poland, Germany Ukraine, Iraq, I all understand why they consider them enemies and Japan fought wars with both the Russian empire and the Soviet Union and took territory from both, but Iran? i mean Iran is literally supplying drones to Russia to support its army! and what about turkey?!?! they are huge former enemies of Russia! this quiz needs to be updated. other than that, nice quiz
+2
Level 40
Jan 13, 2023
Why does Russia hate countries starting with U so much?

The top 3 enemies all start with U.

+2
Level 73
Feb 22, 2023
Uzbekistan would make the list if enough Russians were aware of its existence.
+1
Level 44
Oct 23, 2023
I'm actually surprised to see Syria and Iran, Iran has been helping Russia in the war with Ukraine, and Russia has been supporting the Syrian government against the rebels.

I'm not surprised to see Japan as well because of the Kuril Islands dispute, but to see it quite low is a bit shocking.

+1
Level 32
Nov 25, 2023
I wanted to type Ukraine and it accepted the UK as for the United Kingdom. Then, of course, I missed Ukraine. I didn't even think of the UK by the way, however it's also na enemy of Russia, but not like Ukraine.
+1
Level 43
Dec 20, 2023
Iran?