Russia's invasion of Ukraine: A tarnished reputation and shifting power dynamics in post-Soviet nations

Sun, 9 Jul 2023 15:48 GMT
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been a significant decline in views of Russian leadership in the post-Soviet countries
Russia's invasion of Ukraine: A tarnished reputation and shifting power dynamics in post-Soviet nations

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 created a ripple effect with consequences felt worldwide. According to the Gallup report, Russia's invasion of Ukraine resulted in a significant tarnishing of its international reputation, including its perceived influence over post-Soviet states.

According to Gallup's 2022 data, opinions about Russian leadership sharply declined in most neighboring countries. Countries that typically viewed Russia's leadership with skepticism, such as Ukraine, Georgia, and the Baltic states, saw an increasing gap between those who approved and disapproved.

Throughout history, Russian leadership has been perceived as a major power for Russia, particularly with a "privileged" sphere of influence among post-Soviet states. However, after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the image of Russian leadership suffered significant damage in many post-Soviet countries.

Gallup's data shows that in countries like Armenia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan, the percentage of those approving Russian leadership surpassed those who disapproved. For example, in Armenia, the percentage of those approving Russian leadership decreased from 45% to 32% between 2021 and 2022, while the disapproval rate increased from 38% to 58%.

Although the change in views towards Russian leadership is less pronounced in countries like Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, there was still a decrease in approval rates. However, Russian leadership is still perceived quite positively in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its support for separatist regions in Donbas led to significant declines in approval rates of Russian leadership in countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine. These trends of approval and disapproval began in these countries in 2021 and became more pronounced in 2022.

However, it was observed that the annexation of Crimea and support for separatist regions had less impact on the perception of Russian leadership in other post-Soviet countries. Nevertheless, the 2022 invasion of Ukraine caused significant changes in the perception of Russian leadership in countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Moldova.

The declining status of Russia's influence could create an opportunity for other superpowers like the United States and China to increase their influence in the region. Gallup data shows an increase in approval rates for US leadership, particularly in the Baltic states and Ukraine, replacing the approval rates for Russia.

In conclusion, the changing views on Russian leadership indicate an ongoing power and influence race in post-Soviet countries. However, Gallup's 2022 leadership evaluations reveal that Russia has seriously damaged its power and reputation within its sphere of influence. This shift could be a significant turning point symbolizing the decline of Europe's last empire.

Related News

Address: Miaouli 7-9, Xanthi 67100, GREECE.
Tel: +30 25410 77968.