Americans see Russia as an enemy and Germany as an ally

Linley SandersData Journalist
August 27, 2020, 5:45 PM UTC

A prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was poisoned last week and remains in a medically induced coma while he receives treatment in Germany. The Russian opposition leader, Alexey Navalny, fell sick on a plane ride to Moscow and was moved to the facility in Berlin after a brief period when Russian doctors refused the transfer request and insisted he simply had low blood sugar.  

Once the transfer request was approved, medical officials in Germany confirmed that Navalny was poisoned. Americans are likely to approve of Germany’s aid for Navalny — a new Economist/YouGov Poll shows that a majority of Americans view Russia as unfriendly or an enemy (66%) while Germany is seen as friendly or an ally (69%). 

A majority of Republicans (67%), Independents (63%) and Democrats (78%) view Russia as a hostile nation, with Democrats being slightly more likely to say that. 

In contrast, most Americans see Germany as a friendly country to the United States. Republicans (73%) and Democrats (72%) are especially likely to see Germany as a friend to America, with Independents following close behind (71%). 

The European Union has released a statement on Monday condemning the attempt on Navalny’s life and remarking that, “the Russian people, as well as the international community, are demanding the facts behind Mr. Navalny’s poisoning. Those responsible must be held to account.” Russia said on Thursday that there was no basis for investigating Navalny's illness and no evidence of a crime.

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll, and explore how America’s view of Russia and Germany have changed over time 

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between August 23 - 25, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.6% for the overall sample.    

Image: Getty