11 December 2018   Leave a comment

Russian President Putin regarded the fall of the Soviet Union as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century.  His ambition has been to restore Russia as a great power and the Pew Research Center has conducted a poll of 25 countries that indicates that he has been successful to a certain degree.  According to the Center:

“The prevailing view in a new 25-country poll by Pew Research Center is that Russia plays a more important role in international affairs than it did a decade ago. But increased stature does not mean being better liked. The same survey finds that views of Putin and the Russian Federation are largely negative.”

It is an interesting result.  Russia is regarded as more powerful but most people find Russia and President Putin to be not trustworthy.


Charts showing how publics around the world view Russia and Putin.



The Pew Research Center also conducted a poll on how citizens of both countries regard each other and the results of that poll are widely divergent.  The poll found that

“At a time of rising tensions between their countries, people in the United States and Germany express increasingly divergent views about the status of their decades-long partnership. They are divided not only on the overall state of the relationship, but also on future levels of cooperation, the importance they ascribe to each other on foreign policy and the efficacy of retaliatory tariffs.”

It is hard to interpret these results except to assume that one or the other citizenry is poorly informed for whatever reason.   My own interpretation is that the US views are historically informed, but uninformed about current disagreements between the two countries.  But it is a troubling result for two countries that genuinely need each other as a strong ally.


Americans and Germans diverge sharply in their views of bilateral relations



The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is a highly regarded as a arms control think tank.  It has released its annual report on arms sales in the world which show that arms sales are growing substantially in the world:

“Sales of arms and military services by the world’s largest arms-producing and military services companies—the SIPRI Top 100—totalled $398.2 billion in 2017, according to new international arms industry data released today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

“The total for the SIPRI Top 100 in 2017 is 2.5 per cent higher than in 2016 and represents an increase of 44 per cent since 2002 (the first year for which comparable data is available; figures exclude China). This is the third consecutive year of growth in Top 100 arms sales.

US companies dominate arms sales in the world. The chart below is from Statista.


Infographic: The World's Biggest Arms Companies | Statista

Posted December 11, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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