Washington (CNN) - As the crisis in the Ukraine continues, a new national poll indicates that for the first time in more than a decade, more than half of Americans see Russia as a serious threat to the U.S.
A CNN/ORC International survey released Friday also indicates that Russian President Vladimir Putin's unfavorable rating among Americans has soared over the past month. And the poll indicates that the vast majority of the public says Moscow's actions in neighboring Ukraine break international law, and half of those questioned say a new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia is likely.
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Read full CNN/ORC International survey results here.
According to the poll, 69% of Americans say they see Russia as threat to the U.S.
"That's a 25-percentage point increase since 2012 and represents the highest number on that question since the break-up of the Soviet Union," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
Thirty-one percent now say they don't see Russia as a threat, down from 53% two years ago. The poll indicates that Americans place Russia in the same ballpark as North Korea (71%) and Iran (70%) when it comes to being seen as a threat to the U.S.
Only 11% of those questioned say they have a positive view of Putin, with 68% saying they see him in a negative way.
"The numbers are pretty clear on the Russian president. Americans really don't like Vladimir Putin, whose unfavorable rating has jumped 14 points since early February," Holland added.
No let up in crisis
The poll's release comes as some 8,500 Russian troops staged snap military exercises close to the border with Ukraine. It also comes just two days before the pro-Russian government in Ukraine's autonomous region of Crimean has scheduled a referendum in which residents of the peninsula will vote whether to secede from Ukraine and join Russia or to choose effective independence. Ukraine's interim government in Kiev, as well as U.S. and European leaders, have warned that the vote is illegitimate.
Russia has said that it has the right to intervene in Ukraine to protect ethnic Russians from "fascists" and nationalists. It denies that its forces are militarily involved in Crimea, despite evidence to the contrary. Crimea is an ethnic Russian-majority peninsula in the country's southeast where local officials have declared their allegiance to Russia and armed men have blockaded Ukrainian military sites.
The U.S. Senate is weighing legislation that could impose economic penalties on Russians involved in the intervention in Crimea. The measure would represent some of the toughest sanctions on Moscow since the end of the Cold War.
A new Cold War?
The poll indicates that more than seven in ten believe that there's no justification for Russia's actions in Ukraine and more than eight in ten say Russia has violated international law.
Four in ten say they worry about the possibility of nuclear war with Russia and nearly half believe that a new Cold War is likely in the next few years.
The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from Friday through Sunday, with 801 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
But wait, our President told us that we republicans were crazy for thinking of Russia that way. He told Romney that he was living in the cold war past and the world wasn't like that today.
That's right. I didn't vote for that ideologue..
Weak and ineffective executive leadership (President) will have bad consequences.
Points to whoever remembers when this was said, and by whom:
"And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. Because, you know, the Cold War's been over for 20 years."
Most of us see our neighbor as a threat. So what?
Russia has been ass backwards for hundreds of years. Putins probably out pulling a "Catherine the great" right now!
Scare Bear Stare!
Sure they do. Cutting military to pre-world war II levels, duh. Russia no longer fears us, in my opinion.
So, in other words, Mitt Romney was DEAD RIGHT.
It's gonna be the Cold War all over again.
No. Most see a television which plants ideas in their empty heads.
Puting: A trendier and more coherent version of Bush.
The cold war included wars like with Korea and Vietnam, and a cost of trillions of dollars in arms build up. The cold war eventually led to the fall of the USSR, it is no more. There has never been a cold war with Russia, a capitalist Nation, not a communist Nation. There has never been a cold war between two capitalist Nations. Russia has a 2 trillion dollar gdp economy, largely based upon oil/gas. The US has a 17 trillion dollar gdp economy, the EU is a 17 trillion dollar gdp economy. The largest danger is likely that the Russian economy will collapse under Putin, then have all those nuke out on the market. Many Americans are pining for the bad old days of the cold war, so they can sell more weapons, and have a huge military build up, but 1st they have to find a communist Nation willing to wage a cold war, there aren't too many left.
But hey it's an election year come back to us in 2015 and we will review the situation however, don't expect too much because 2016 is an election year, so come back to us in 2017 but again don't expect too much because 2018 is an election year......
This is just fear-mongering at it's laziest
why haven't UN forces gone into Ukraine?
I would think Ukrainians would welcome them.
The 11% who have a favorable view of Putin are probably the extreme right-wing (Tea Party?) nuts.
In other words, all this poll shows is that Americans are still as dense as ever.....
Here comes the anti-Russian rhetoric...at least the Russians have the decency to ensure there's a stable government inserted after a splintering.
Good to see that the low-info crowd finally caught up with Mitt Romney's take. Too little, too late...
Media and talking heads 1
General public and sane people 0
No surprising... we have an inept leader that is being taken advantage. We've been bickering about politics in this country ever since the financial crisis while Putin has maneuvered Russia back into power. In his eyes, we are weak with a inept leader.
only because of organizations like cnn
CONSPIRACY THEORY, MALAYSIAN PLANE: There is a possibility that someone could be trying to put an A-Bomb inside the plane. Irán was recently caught transporting weapons inside a ship; it didn't work. How difficult is it to build a runway in a remote Island away from radar and satellite usual paths and get the plane on the air again with an A-Bomb inside??... I'd be worried..
Mitt Romney: The adult in the room.
Voters: Got the government they deserved.
Sure makes Romney look a lot smarter. Those who ridiculed him in 2012 should be embarrassed and should be rushing to apologize for their own short-sided blindness. And that includes Obama.