Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972

THE ATTITUDE OF THE RUSSIANS TO THE USA, GREAT

Lymarev A.V. 1 Talanov S.L. 1
1 Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University
The authors study the attitude of Russians to NATO countries (USA, UK, Germany, France) and also to China and India. A trend sociological study was conducted with an interval in time (in 2014 and in 2017) on similar samples within a single exponential population. It is revealed that the image of the United States in the social and political discourse of Russia is generally negative. The attitude of student youth to other countries is determined by their satisfaction with their lives, level of education, and gender characteristics. In addition, it was found that a significant part of student youth is negatively related to the United States, since in the materials of permanent columnists, in news articles, reports, newspaper and magazine articles about the United States, a negative image is created. At the same time, girls relate better than boys to NATO countries, but they treat China worse than boys. The authors propose the tools of “soft power”, which the Russian Federation should use to raise its status on the world stage. In addition, authors are proposing the measures aimed at easing tensions between the Russian Federation and the NATO countries, as well as aimed at even greater rapprochement with such countries as China and India.
The authors study the attitude of Russians to NATO countries (USA, UK, Germany, France) and also to China and India. A trend sociological study was conducted with an interval in time (in 2014 and in 2017) on similar samples within a single exponential population. It is revealed that the image of the United States in the social and political discourse of Russia is generally negative. The attitude of student youth to other countries is determined by their satisfaction with their lives, level of education, and gender characteristics. In addition, it was found that a significant part of student youth is negatively related to the United States, since in the materials of permanent columnists, in news articles, reports, newspaper and magazine articles about the United States, a negative image is created. At the same time, girls relate better than boys to NATO countries, but they treat China worse than boys. The authors propose the tools of “soft power”, which the Russian Federation should use to raise its status on the world stage. In addition, authors are proposing the measures aimed at easing tensions between the Russian Federation and the NATO countries, as well as aimed at even greater rapprochement with such countries as China and India.
“soft power”
image of country
sociological surveys
values
students
universities
trend survey
1. Gavrilov A.V. Education as a tool of “Soft Power” in foreign policy of Russia // Alma Mater. High School Herald. 2017. No 6. P. 24–30.
2. Koryakovtseva O.A. Patriotic education as a factor in the sociopolitical socialization of Russian student youth, Alma Mater. High School Gerald. 2017. № 4. P. 28–33.
3. Lymarev A.V. Fight against terrorism in the USA, Great Britain, Israel, Russia // Yaroslavl Pedagogical Gerald. 2011. No.2. Volume I (The Humanities). P. 138–142.
4. Nye J.S. Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. Public Affairs. 2004. P. 5.
5. Talanov S.L. Youth Socialization: The Experience of Sociological Analysis // Alma Mater. High School Gerald. 2009. № 2. P. 27–30.

According to positional experts, the leading countries of the modern world are the United States, Great Britain, China, India, Germany, France, and Russia. [1, 3] The assessment criteria are many, ranging from the level of GDP, CWP, unemployment, quality and standard of living, prestige of education, economic growth, up to the army equipment. It is possible to disagree with the opinion of experts in some ways, but, of course, those countries that are listed above have a huge impact on current events in the world. A lot depends on how these countries interact with each other. As a number of authors rightly point out that, more often citizens relate to a particular country better than the specific political leadership of a particular country. As researchers, it was interesting for us to find out how the attitude of student youth towards the USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, China, and India is changing among Russians. We conducted a sociological survey (survey) in 2014 and 2017, in the framework of which we found out the attitude of university students to the above countries.

Empirical base of research

A survey of students has been conducted at:

– Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University named after K.D.Ushinsky (YSPU);

– Yaroslavl State University named after P.G. Demidov (YSU);

– Rybinsk branch of the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation (RANEPA).

Quota sample. Sample set N = 820. Quota variables: gender, age, university

Content analysis of following magazines has been done:

– Russian Reporter (from 2013 to 2019);

– Around the World (from 2013 to 2019),

The content analysis of the weekly newspaper Version (2013-2019) has been done.

The content analysis of the blogosphere has been conducted as well.

A series of in-depth interviews with positional experts (political scientists, politicians, etc.) were carried out, n = 10.

Research hypotheses:

– a significant part of student youth is negative about the USA, since in the materials of permanent columnists, in news articles, reports, newspaper and magazine articles a negative image of the USA is created.

– Ukrainian crisis of 2013-2014 significantly affected the deterioration of the attitude of Russian citizens to such countries as the USA, Germany, France, United Kingdom.

– A small part of the student youth, in spite of everything, believes that it is necessary to build a constructive dialogue with NATO countries.

– A considerable part of the students express positive attitude to countries such as China and India.

The methodological basis of the research was the concept of “soft power” developed by the prominent American political scientist J. Nye [4], as well as scientific works of such authors as Koryakovtseva O.A., Lymarev A.V. Talanov S. L. and others [2, 5].

The results of the study and their analysis

In the beginning, we studied how our respondents relate to the United States, Britain, Germany, France, China and India. It was found that the best students’ attitude is expressed to India. The worst students’ attitude is expressed to NATO countries, and the opinion from 2014 to 2017 has not changed fundamentally (Tables 1 and 2)

At the same time, female respondents treat NATO countries better than male respondents do. On the other hand, girls’ attitude is worse for China than boys’ one.

Content analysis of magazines: Russian Reporter and Around the World, newspapers Version and content analysis of the blogosphere showed that in recent years there has been a lot of negative information about the NATO countries.

Respondents could clarify their choices. So, when evaluating their attitude to the UK, students considered the incident of Salisbury (the Skripal case). The media constantly focused on this situation.

Considering that, from the point of view of respondents, the United States has a special role in the world in negative and positive processes, in our article we devote a large part to analyzing the attitude of students to the United States, as well as to India and China, which are the most interesting and important from the point of view of research data.

Further on, we studied why citizens of the Russian Federation have a bad attitude towards the United States.

Opinion of respondents is presented in table 3.

It is positive that, despite the events of 2014, sanctions, etc., the students in the surveys both in 2014 and 2017 believe that the citizens of the Russian Federation treat badly not the citizens of the United States, but their government.

Further on, we studied why citizens of the Russian Federation have a good attitude towards the United States?

Opinion of respondents is presented in table 4.

Next, we studied, which qualities are inherent to Americans from respondents’ point of view (Table 5).

As you can see, the responses in 2014 are not fundamentally different from those in 2017.

Next, we analyzed who must be blamed for the deterioration of Russian-American relations, according to respondents. The data is presented in table 6.

In 2014, students were less inclined to blame the Russian Federation for the deterioration of Russian-American relations than in 2017.

Further, we studied what forecasts our respondents make regarding the deterioration or improvement of relations between Russia and the United States. The data is presented in table 7.

In 2014, about 50 % of students believed that relations between the Russian Federation and the United States would improve in the near future. The survey was conducted prior to the well-known events in the Crimea (referendum in 2014). Obviously, if the poll were carried out after the referendum and the annexation of the Crimea to the Russian Federation, the data would have been less optimistic.

Table 1

Attitude of Russians to the USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, China and India in 2017 (in %, out of total respondents)

 

USA

Great Britain

Germany

France

China

India

Mal

Fem

Mal

Fem

Mal

Fem

Mal

Fem

Mal

Fem

Mal

Fem

Positive

31

42

38

52

29

51

26

54

74

50

80

84

Indifferent

13

10

11

11

6

18

5

19

6

9

12

16

Negative

56

48

51

37

65

31

69

27

20

41

8

 

Table 2

Attitude of Russians to the USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, China and India in 2014 (in %, out of total respondents)

 

USA

Great Britain

Germany

France

China

India

Mal

Fem

Mal

Fem

Mal

Fem

Mal

Fem

Mal

Fem

Mal

Fem

Positive

33

46

39

53

39

53

42

56

78

52

82

82

Indifferent

12

7

13

11

17

18

16

19

8

10

11

18

Negative

55

47

48

36

44

29

42

25

14

38

7

 

Table 3

The answer to the question: “How do you think, why the citizens of the Russian Federation have a bad attitude to the United States?” * (in %, out of total respondents)

 

Survey of 2014

Survey of 2017

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

Citizens of the Russian Federation are not disposing badly towards US citizens, but towards their government

43

44

46

40

42

41

The United States interferes in the internal affairs of the Russian Federation

34

32

35

64

65

62

The USA seeks to divide the Russian Federation into many “principalities”

28

27

29

60

59

57

The USA wants to take all the oil fields in the Russian Federation

23

22

21

50

48

49

The USA every time dictates all countries how to live

19

20

18

23

24

22

Due to western sanctions

89

90

88

Others

6

6

5

5

6

5

Note: *The number of percent vertically is more than 100, because respondents could indicate several answer options.

Table 4

The answer to the question: “How do you think, why do citizens of the Russian Federation have a good attitude towards the United States?” * (in %, out of total respondents)

 

Survey of 2014

Survey of 2017

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

Citizens of the Russian Federation are able to find information on the Internet about real-world events

45

44

47

54

53

51

Citizens of the Russian Federation have repeatedly communicated with citizens from the United States and have a real idea of them.

32

34

30

27

28

25

Part of the citizens were in the United States, and have a real idea of the country

21

22

20

24

25

23

Others

5

5

5

6

5

5

Note: * The number of percent vertically is more than 100, because respondents could indicate several answer options.

Further on, we analyzed how, in the opinion of respondents, today the leaders of Russia should or shouldn’t strive to improve relations with the United States? The data is presented in table 8.

In 2014, among the respondents were more of those who believed that the leaders of the Russian Federation needed to improve relations with the US.

Then we studied, which country needed the good relations between Russia and the United States more – Russia or the United States? The data is presented in table 9.

Table 5

The answer to the question: “In your opinion, which of these qualities are most inherent to Americans?” * (in %, out of total respondents)

 

Survey of 2014

Survey of 2017

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

Egoists

30

29

30

31

32

29

Power-hungry

29

30

28

27

28

26

Rational

26

27

25

26

28

27

Brutal

20

21

18

18

19

17

Hypocritical

18

17

19

17

17

18

Secretive

16

18

17

19

15

16

Hardworking

16

15

17

16

15

18

Envious

14

13

15

13

16

15

Proud

10

11

12

10

13

12

Kind

5

6

5

7

5

6

Others

5

6

5

5

5

5

Note: * The number of percent vertically is more than 100, because respondents could indicate several answer options.

Table 6

The answer to the question: “In your opinion, have Russian-American relations recently deteriorated due to the policy of Russia or the United States?” (in %, out of total respondents)

 

Survey of 2014

Survey of 2017

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

Only because of the policy of Russia

44

42

45

58

55

56

Only because of the policy of the USA

35

36

34

26

25

27

The deterioration of relations caused by the policies of both countries

21

22

21

16

20

17

 

Table 7

The answer to the question: “Do you think that relations between Russia and the United States will improve, worsen or not change in the near future?” (in %, out of total respondents)

 

Survey of 2014

Survey of 2017

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

Will improve

52

53

50

29

28

31

Will not change

12

11

15

19

14

15

Will worsen

36

36

35

52

85

54

 

In 2014, there were more students who supported more active cooperation between Russia and the United States than among students surveyed in 2017.

Then we analyzed the role of the United States in the world from the point of view of university students of the Yaroslavl region. The data is presented in table 10.

Table 8

The answer to the question: “Do you think that today the Russian leaders should or shouldn’t strive to improve relations with the United States?” (in %, out of total respondents)

 

Survey of 2014

Survey of 2017

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

Should

80

79

78

63

65

67

Shouldn’t

20

21

22

37

35

33

 

Table 9

The answer to the question: “In your opinion, which country needs the good relations between Russia and the United States more?” (in %, out of total respondents)

 

Survey of 2014

Survey of 2017

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

Russia

77

75

73

63

60

64

Both countries in equal proportion

10

7

8

11

8

7

The USA

7

9

11

18

23

21

Neither Russia nor the USA

6

9

8

8

9

8

 

Table 10

The answer to the question: “What role does the USA play in today’s world? (in %, out of total respondents)

 

Survey of 2014

Survey of 2017

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

The USA play a positive role

40

42

39

32

31

33

The USA play a negative role

60

58

61

68

69

67

 

Table 11

The answer to the question: “Do you think the influence of the United States, China, India in the world has recently increased or decreased?” (in %, out of total respondents)

 

Survey of 2014

Survey of 2017

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

YSPU

YSU

Rybinsk branch of RANEPA

Influence of the United States

Increased

32

30

35

22

23

19

Nothing changed

5

19

6

6

7

14

Decreased

63

61

59

72

70

67

Influence of China

Increased

28

27

26

30

31

32

Nothing changed

12

14

13

15

16

14

Decreased

60

59

61

55

53

54

Influence of India

Increased

28

27

29

65

66

67

Nothing changed

6

8

7

23

26

24

Decreased

66

65

64

13

8

9

 

As can be seen from the 2017 survey, the majority of students from all three universities believe that the United States currently play a rather negative role. When comparing with the 2014 survey data, we see that in 2014 there were more students who believe that the United States play a positive role in the world than in 2017.

Further, we studied how, in the opinion of respondents, the influence of the United States, China, and India in the world has recently been increasing or decreasing? The data is presented in table 11.

Comparing with 2014, students who believe that the US influence on world events is decreasing, their amount has now increased. Students had the opportunity to clarify their answers. So, 86 % of respondents believe that new centers of power appear in the world, and this is most of all China and India. At the same time, these respondents believe that the role of the United States in the world will still be quite high, at least until 2030. After that India will have absolute leadership.

As part of our research, we conducted a series of in-depth interviews with positional experts. Next, we present some of their statements.

Positional Expert 1. “The Russian Federation needs to more actively present itself in a number of leading countries of the world. For example, broadcasting in Russian has been conducted in France since 1937. It is important to make broadcasts for our compatriots in all countries of the world, first of all, where the big Russian diasporas are”.

Positional Expert 2. “Pay attention, for example, Radio Liberty broadcasts in 26 languages, not only in Europe, but also in Asia. It is important in economically developed countries, through the opening of their channels on television and radio, to conduct programs in the language of the host countries and thus inform the population of those countries about real events in Russia”.

Positional Expert 3. “Russia is closing many non-governmental organizations on its territory, it is possible that some really need to be closed, if only within the framework of the information war. But it is important to open their funds in the territory of other countries. We must do what the authorities in Italy do, they have created a wide network of representative offices of the Italian Institute of Culture abroad”.

As we can see, positional experts believe that the Russian Federation needs to more effectively use the tools of soft power, and borrow the experience of countries such as Italy, France and the United States.

Within the research the testing has been conducted, where it was studied how well respondents know about life in the USA.

95 % of boys and 66 % of girls know that the United States is a Federation, administratively divided into 50 states and the District of Columbia.

92 % of boys and 89 % of girls know the US political parties: Democratic and Republican. But testing showed that most students who took part in testing do not know how these parties differ from each other.

Unfortunately, none of the respondents know that in the US, in addition to English, some residents speak 300 different languages. 54 % of boys and 38 % of girls know that among the most developed countries in terms of GDP, the United States is the most religious country. 39 % of boys and 32 % of girls know all US holidays. At the same time, 87 % of boys and 84 % of girls know that on July 4, Independence Day is celebrated in the USA. 62 % of boys and 87 % of girls have an idea about the education system in the United States. The respondents have a particularly good idea about the higher education system. Respondents were able to list the best American universities. Absolutely all respondents, regardless of gender, know that the most prestigious university in the world is Harvard University. The respondents not only know the leading US universities, but were able to rank them according to the degree of prestige. So, among the main universities in the country they listed: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Yale University, California Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Chicago. 56 % of boys and 83 % of girls have a good idea of American cuisine. 57 % of boys and 73 % of girls are aware of the core values of the United States. According to respondents, Americans respect the institution of the family, despite the large number of divorces.

Absolutely all respondents know that in the United States most of the population lives in cities and the most typical family is the nuclear family.

A gender imbalance has been identified, as 100 % of boys and only 47 % of girls know that so many Americans have military weapons at home.

34 % of boys and 100 % of girls know that US residents like to visit the museum, exhibitions and theaters.

Interviewees are very familiar with the musical preferences of Americans.

The situation is even better with movies. Both boys and girls know American actors and movies well.

12 % of boys and 54 % of girls are very well acquainted with the fine arts.

Young men (69 %) are more familiar with the main features of modern American architecture than ladies (38 %).

The respondents reflected fragmentary ideas about the housing of Americans. So, 63 % of boys and 61 % of girls are sure that the majority of US residents live in their own homes, when in reality more and more Americans prefer to live in their own apartment, rather than in the suburbs in their own home.

It was pleasant to know that absolutely all respondents know that the United States occupies a dominant position in the scientific sphere.

In addition, most respondents know the main news agencies in the United States. So, 98 % of young men and 80 % mentioned such agencies as Associated Press, United Press International, Bloomberg.

As part of testing, it was revealed that students who studied German and French have a fragmentary view of life in the United States, unlike those who studied English. Obviously, when studying foreign languages, a detailed overview of the life of countries is given.

Then we studied what ideas students have about life in Germany. In the framework of testing, we established the following:

91 % of boys and 74 % of girls know that Germany has a federal structure (16 federal lands).

Only 54 % of boys and 12 % of girls were able to list the main parties in Germany: Christian Democratic Union – the CDU, Social Democratic Party of Germany – the SPD.

55 % of boys and 37 % of girls correctly listed modern German politicians: Angela Merkel, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Heiko Mas

87 % of boys and 38 % of girls know that Germany is one of the leaders in world exports.

67 % of boys and 54 % of girls correctly indicated in the test that Germany is the second country in Europe in terms of population.

32 % of boys and 17 % of girls said that a quarter of the population in Germany is retired.

The respondents know very well German scientists such as Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Schopenhauer, and others.

87 % of boys and 98 % of girls know that Hamburg has about 2500 bridges.

Only 33 % of boys and 39 % of girls know that in Germany the different dialects of the German language as a result, many living in the north in Germany do not understand those who live in the south of the country.

The respondents showed a lower awareness of the higher education system in Germany than in the US universities. Thus, only 23 % of boys and 19 % of girls were able to list leading universities in the test, in particular, noted such as Rhine-Westphalia Technical University of Aachen, Mannheim University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Technical University of Munich.

As part of testing, it was found that those students who studied German in high school have a clearer idea about life in Germany than students who learn English.

Only 23 % of boys and 20 % of girls know about major holidays in Germany.

The interviewed students showed excellent knowledge when answering alcoholic beverages in Germany and about the specialties of German cuisine.

Absolutely everyone who took part in the test admired German thoroughness, punctuality, thrift.

All students were able to easily list all German car brands.

Despite the fact that Germany is part of the NATO bloc, absolutely all students believe that this country does not pose a danger to the future of the Russian Federation.

Next, we studied how well the students know about France.

We found that 43 % of boys and 58 % of girls know that France is the largest country in the EU. Unfortunately, only 7 % of boys and 12 % of girls were able to correctly indicate that a quarter of the country’s territory is covered with forest. Most of the test participants 78 % of boys and 82 % of girls were able to correctly note that the highest mountain in Western Europe – Mont Blanc (4 810 m) – is in the French Alps. Only 12 % of boys and 18 % of girls know that France covers 12 different time zones. This is more than any other country in the world!

It is interesting that most of the students know the largest cities in France and easily (without orographic errors) listed them. 67 % of boys and 54 % of girls correctly ranked the cities of France taking into account the number of population, namely Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Nice, Nantes, Strasbourg.

Only 48 % of boys and 29 % of girls were able to list the main parties in France: the National Front, the Union for the Popular Movement, the Democratic Movement.

When answering the question of the rivers in France, students had certain difficulties, so only 12 % of boys and 13 % of girls know that the longest rivers in France are the Loire, the Seine, the Rhone, the Garonne. Only 5 % of boys and 6 % of girls were able to rank the rivers in descending order. It is surprising that absolutely everyone who took part in the testing knows the Seine River, although this river is not the longest river in France.

56 % of boys and 89 % of girls correctly noted that France is the most popular country among tourists. Girls know better about the sights of France than boys. The main attractions in the opinion of the participants of the testing are the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre.

43 % of young men correctly indicated in the test that France once ruled almost 10 % of the world’s territories.

Gender imbalance identified: girls are better than boys know French cuisine and, in particular, the fact that France produces 1,200 different types of cheese. Young men are more informed about sportsmen and the development of sports in France, in particular, absolutely all young men who took part in testing know the world’s largest cycling race – the Tour de France.

In addition, girls know better modern French writers. So, 87 % of girls indicated that Frederick Beigbeder, Michel Welbeck, Bernard Werber, Anna Gavalda are the most famous modern writers. The young men could not, within the framework of testing, write at least one contemporary French writer. 14 % of boys and 90 % of girls were able to list the writers of the 17-19 centuries, in particular, pointed out Pierre Corneille, Jean Racine, Jean-Baptiste Moliere, F. Chateaubriand, J. de Stael, J. Sand, V. Hugo.

Only 23 % of boys and 31 % of girls correctly listed all major holidays in France. Despite the fact that a significant part of the students could not list all the holidays in France, absolutely all the students who took part in the testing, know the holiday “Bastille Day”.

67 % of boys and 68 % of girls are equally aware of the best universities in France. Moreover, within the framework of testing, universities were ranked according to the degree of prestige. But absolutely all test participants know that the Higher Normal School (Paris) and the Polytechnic School are the most prestigious universities in France.

Absolutely all young men and 32 % of girls know that France is in the NATO bloc.

It is encouraging that, despite the fact that France is in the NATO bloc, none of the respondents consider France a threat to Russia.

The part of students who study French is more knowledgeable about life in France than students studying Italian, German and English.

Next, we studied, as well, students know about life in the UK.

86 % of boys and 58 % of girls know that Great Britain is an island nation, besides being one of the largest states in Europe. 85 % of boys and 14 % of girls know that Britain has nuclear weapon, and as well as the Russian Federation, is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

57 % of boys and 42 % of girls were able to list the main political parties in the UK: Labor, conservatives, Scottish national party.

It is gratifying that the majority of students, both boys (89 %) and girls (87 %), know the country’s main newspapers: The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph.

81 % of boys and 61 % of girls were able to correctly list the most famous people in Great Britain: Oliver Cromwell, Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Gordon Brown, Queen Elizabeth II.

64 % of boys and 58 % of girls were able to list the main cities of the country: London, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow.

69 % of boys and 78 % of girls know the main universities in the UK. Most of the students who participated in the testing were able to rank the universities in descending order of prestige. But absolutely all the students know two prestigious universities in the UK: Cambridge and Oxford, and all those who took part in testing know that these two universities are not only the most prestigious universities in the country, but also are among the top five universities in the world.

Absolutely all students are aware of the existence of one of the largest libraries in the world – the British Library in London.

Good knowledge was shown when answering the questions about monuments of Great Britain, and not only ancient, but also modern ones. So, 56 % of boys and 87 % of girls know that Hyde Park in 2004 opened the Memorial Fountain of Diana, Princess of Wales.

25 % of boys and 73 % of girls were able to list the main contemporary writers in the UK: Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes, Antonia Byette, Jonathan Coe, David Mitchell. It is gratifying that absolutely all students know English and Irish dramatist and poet Oscar Wilde.

23 % of boys and 86 % of girls have a good understanding of British cuisine.

At the same time, the students explained that the basic information about life in the UK is obtained in English classes and from the television program “Heads and tails”, as well as from news channels.

Despite the fact that the UK is part of NATO, a significant portion of students do not believe that this country is a threat to the Russian Federation.

Next, we studied how well students know about life in India.

89 % of boys and 74 % of girls know that India is the largest country in South Asia and ranks second in population in the world.

57 % of boys and 18 % of girls know that India is a federal state, and is a parliamentary republic. Only 12 % of boys and 7 % of girls know that India is divided into 29 states and 7 union territories.

68 % of boys and 57 % of girls were able to correctly list the largest cities in India: Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Calcutta.

Absolutely all students know that India is the most multi-ethnic country (more than 400 ethnic groups). In addition, all those who took part in the testing know that the largest city in the country is Mumbai.

It is interesting that absolutely all respondents know that India is the most multilingual country in the world.

Only 11 % of boys and 6 % of girls know the main parties of India: the Indian National Congress, the party of supporters of Indira Gandhi.

12 % of boys and 67 % of girls know that one third of India’s population is vegetarians.

Girls know Indian cuisine better than boys. So, girls, unlike boys, know that the cuisine in India is divided into 2 types: North Indian (meat) and South Indian (vegetarian).

Girls who are addicted to yoga have shown very good knowledge about India.

27 % of boys and 71 % of girls have a good understanding of the Indian film industry.

93 % of boys and 63 % of girls know that motorcycles and motorbikes are the most popular transport in India.

87 % of girls know that women in India are very fond of gold jewelry.

92 % of boys and 90 % of girls know that in India there is a big social stratification. Even in Mumbai, in the richest city in the country, there are a lot of poor people.

83 % of youths were able to correctly answer that India has the third largest army in the world after the United States and China. Despite this fact, none of the students who took the test did not consider India a threat to Russia.

Next, we studied in testing how well students know about life in China.

Absolutely all students know that China is the largest country in the world in terms of population. In addition, everyone correctly answered that China ranks third in the territory after the Russian Federation and Canada.

89 % of boys and 66 % of girls know that China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

92 % of boys and 15 % of girls know that China possesses nuclear weapons.

All students, regardless of the university, course and gender, correctly noted that the most famous politicians in China: Deng Xiaoping, Mao Zedong.

Absolutely all students know that China is currently the world’s largest exporter of goods.

Absolutely all students, regardless of gender, know that China is among the five strongest economies in the world in terms of GDP.

68 % of boys and 35 % of girls know that China is a socialist state and the ruling party is the Chinese Communist Party.

63 % of boys and 33 % of girls were able to correctly rank the largest cities of China: Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Tianjin.

Absolutely all students know about the main attractions of China: The Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the tombs of the Ming emperors, the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.

47 % of boys and 39 % of girls correctly indicated that ping-pong is a national sport in the country.

82 % of boys and 38 % of girls know that China is one of the least religious countries in the world.

65 % of young men and 73 % of girls know modern writers of the country: Yu Hua, Yun Zhang.

Absolutely all participants in the testing know Chinese philosophy, which speaks about the quality of training in high school.

91 % of boys and 98 % of girls were able to correctly rank universities of China by prestige: Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, Hefei Scientific-Technical University.

Absolutely all participants in the testing are aware of Southwest Jiaotong University, where students and teachers of the YaGPU periodically do internships.

Students from YaSPU could easily list the directors of China: John Wu, Jackie Chan, Liang Qiao, Jia Zhanke, Yuyan Zhenyang.

It should be noted that the excellent knowledge of China was demonstrated by students who study Chinese at the Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University (YSPU). This university is preparing Chinese teachers. In addition, teachers from China systematically teach at this department. YSPU teachers also purposefully visit universities in China, where Chinese students give lectures. Students from YSPU periodically study in universities of China.

Testing has shown that students from YSPU are best informed about life in China. Second place took the USA and Great Britain, and France and Germany are on the third place.

Students from YSU and Rybinsky (Orlovsky) branch of RANEPA know better about life in the USA and the UK.

Conclusion

For harmonization of relations between NATO countries and Russia it is necessary:

– to purposefully allocate grants on a competitive basis for studying in the USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, China, India;

– at the expense of the Government of the Russian Federation to create appropriate structures that will systematically organize the festivals and days of American, German, French and other cultures;

– to develop humanitarian international cooperation;

– to hold periodically scientific and practical conferences on intercultural issues;

–to work more actively with various target groups in the USA, UK, Germany, France, China, India;

– to invite systematically well-known teachers and politicians from the USA, Germany, France, Great Britain, China, India to conduct public lectures to universities.