In the wake of allegations that the Russian government used social media and other tactics to disrupt the 2016 United States presidential election, roughly seven-in-ten Russians believe their government did not try to influence the election. Only 15% say their government did try to meddle, a new Pew Research Center survey shows.
More broadly, Russians are about evenly split over whether their country tries to influence the internal affairs of other countries: 45% say yes, 46% say no. In contrast, an overwhelming majority of Russians (85%) think the U.S. government interferes in the domestic affairs of other countries.
Regarding relations with the West, roughly eight-in-ten Russians think that Western sanctions, initially imposed on account of Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, are having an effect on the Russian economy, with 47% saying the sanctions are having a major effect. Tensions with the West are palpable for many Russians: Eight-in-ten consider NATO a threat, with 45% saying the organization is a major threat to their country.
Globally, Russians believe their country is playing an increasingly important role. Nearly three-in-four (72%) think Russia plays a more important role in the world than it did 10 years ago, up from 59% last year. Most, however, also believe Russia does not get the respect it deserves. About six-in-ten say Russia should get more respect internationally than it does, with roughly half as many (32%) saying Russia is as respected as it should be.
This post originally appeared on SOTT.net