G7 Citizens Give Russia Low Marks

A majority of Group of Seven citizens consider President Vladimir Putin a "negative influence on democracy and human rights in Russia," according to a poll conducted by the BBC World Service.

Fifty-six percent of respondents from the United States, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and France regard Putin's government as detrimental to civil liberties in Russia, while 26 percent hold an opposite view, according to the poll. Almost 16,000 people from 31 countries were polled between last October and late January.

Also, 47 percent of respondents from G7 countries regarded Putin's influence "on peace and security in the world" as negative, while 38 percent believed that his influence was positive.

Responses from G7 countries stood in sharp contrast to those from other countries. Seventy-eight percent of Egyptian and 69 percent of Chinese respondents were positive about the role Russia plays in global affairs.

A majority of Russians, meanwhile, were positive about the eight years under Putin. Eighty-six percent of Russians polled supported Putin's foreign policy, 77 percent were positive about quality of life, and 64 percent were satisfied with the level of democracy in the country.