After spending all day Tuesday in Sochi in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Secretary of State John Kerry is in Turkey, filling in NATO allies on the substance of those talks. Kerry and Putin tried to ease tensions that have grown between the United States and Russia over the continuing crisis in Ukraine. This at a time when relations between the two countries are at their worst in decades. According to the Russian polling group Levada Center, 59 percent of Russians see the United States as a threat, reports Global Post. That number was 47 percent in 2007. Of those who said the U.S. is a threat, 31 percent are worried about the possibility of an American invasion and occupation of Russia.
“Lately we can see that all the measures are directed at the consolidation of [Russians’] national identity. And depicting the United States as the enemy has become one of the structural elements for social consolidation,” Karina Pipiya, sociologist at the Levada Center, was quoted by Izvestia newspaper as saying, according to the Moscow Times. And increasingly, Americans are saying they share distrust of Russia. A recent Gallup poll found 18 percent of Americans said Russia is the number one enemy of the United States. FULL REPORT