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Attitude of the population of Ukraine toward Russia and of the population of Russia toward Ukraine, February 2018

Press release by Tetiana Piaskovska

 

The number of the Ukrainians who hold positive attitude to Russia has not changed much since December 2017 and in February 2018 was 45% (in December it was 42%). The number of positively disposed to Ukraine people increased in Russia, and in February 2018 it was 33% (it was 28% in December). However, the attitude of the Ukrainian population to Russia have been remaining better than the attitude of Russia's population towards Ukraine since 2008 when we started the monitoring process.

Compared to December 2017, the support for the independence of Ukraine increased by 3 percentage points and constitutes 88% (was 85%). The general tendency remained unchanged: almost 90% of the population believe that Ukraine should be an independent state. In Russia, compared to May 2017, the number of those who want closed borders and customs with Ukraine has not changed much (decreased from 35% to 34%). In Russia, compared to December 2017, the number of those who want closed borders and customs with Ukraine increased from 33% to 39%.

 

The press release contains the results of a conjoint project of Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and Russian non-governmental research organization “Levada-Center”.

On February 9 –18, 2018 Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted an all-Ukrainian public opinion poll. Data were collected from 2043 respondents living in 110 settlements (PSU) in all oblasts of Ukraine (except for the AR of Crimea) with the method of personal interviewing. The sample was stochastic and is representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and above.

In Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts survey was conducted only in the territories that are controlled by the Ukrainian government, the sample is representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and above.

The statistical sampling error (with a probability of 0.95 and for a design effect of 1.5) does not exceed: 3.3% — for indexes close to 50%, 2.8% — for indexes close to 25%, 2.0% — for indexes close to 10%, 1.4% — for indexes close to 5%.

“Levada-Center” conducted the poll on March 7-12, 2018 with the sample of 1612 people aged 18 and above, that is representative of the population of Russia.

During the study, the Ukrainians, as usual, were asked: “What is your general attitude toward Russia now?”, and the questions for the Russians was: “What is your general attitude toward Ukraine now?”.

  • In February 2018, 45% of the Ukrainians responded they had very positive or mostly positive attitude to Russia, 38% had very negative or mostly negative attitude, 17% were undecided. In Russia, 33% of the population have very positive or mostly positive attitude to Ukraine, 55% - very negative or mostly negative, 12% have not decided on that matter.

  • The attitude of the Ukrainians to Russia depends significantly on the region: positive attitude hold 25% of the population of the Western region, 47% - of the Central region, 54% - of the South region, 58% - of the Eastern region.

  • The attitude of the population of Ukraine to Russia remains better than the attitude of the population of Russia to Ukraine during the whole period of observation (since 2008, see Graph 1)

  • The amount of positively disposed Ukrainians have not changed much since December 2017, the amount of positively disposed Russians increased from 28% to 33%.

 

Graph 1. Dynamics of the positive attitude of the population of Ukraine to Russia and the population of Russia to Ukraine (% of those who relate to the other country very positively or mostly positively)


The dynamics of answers to the question “What type of the relations between Ukraine and Russia would you prefer?” 

  • Compared to December 2017, support for the independence of Ukraine has slightly increased from 85% to 88%. The general tendency remained the same: almost 90% of the population believe that Ukraine should be an independent state. At the same time, the number of those who want closed borders and customs with Russia equals the number of those who want friendly relations between two independent states (44%). Also, 3% of the polled Ukrainians want to two countries to be united in one state (it was 4% in December, the difference is statistically insignificant).

  • Compared to December, the amount of those who want closed borders with Ukraine increased from 33% to 39% in Russia, the amount of those who want independent and friendly relations decreased from 49% to 45%. As it was in December, 10% of the polled Russians want to unite two countries in one state.

Commentary of Karina Pipia, the “Levada-Center” expert (Russia):

 «In general, the attitude of the Russians to Ukraine remains largely negative. However, over the past four years, this gap between negative and positive opinions about the neighboring country has shrunk from 2.7 times in January 2015 (64% vs. 24%) to 1.3 at present (47% and 35%, respectively).

 

In December 2017, 29% of respondents answering an open question called Ukraine an "enemy of Russia", in the list Ukraine only gave way to the United States. This points to the resilience of the mass sentiment of "hostility from Ukraine", despite the weakening of the media order in Russia. It is worth noting that it took 5 years for the Russian public opinion to restore the positive perception of Georgia (after the war in 2008).

The attention of the Russians to the events in Ukraine, in the Donbass, continues to decrease steadily. They were replaced by other foreign policy issues that are of a bigger interest to the population: the war in Syria and the removal of the Russian team from participating in the Olympic Games».

 

Graph 2. What type of the relations with Russia does the population of Ukraine prefer?*

* Line on the graph «Ukraine and Russia should be independent states” is a sum of the first two columns of  Table 6, that is, the percentage of those who want the independence with closed borders and customs and of those who prefer the independence without borders and customs (see tables below).



Додаток 1.Формулювання запитань з анкети

 

Addition 1. Formulations of the questions from the questionnaire

 

What type of the relations between Ukraine and Russia would you prefer?  ONE ANSWER 

Relations should be the same as with other countries - with closed borders, visa and customs 1
Ukraine and Russia should be independent but friendly states - with no visa, no customs and with open borders 2
Ukraine and Russia should unite in one country 3
DIFFICULT TO SAY/ REFUSAL FROM ANSWERING 9

 

What is your general attitude toward Russia now?

Very positive 1  Mostly negative 3 DIFFICULT TO SAY  9
Mostly positive 2  Very negative 4    

 

TABLES

 

   Table 1. What is your general attitude toward Ukraine/Russia?

  

IN UKRAINE TOWARD RUSSIA, % IN RUSSIA TOWARD UKRAINE,%
Date Very positive/ mostly positive Mostly negative/ very negative DIFFICULT TO SAY TOTAL Date Very positive/ mostly positive Mostly negative/ very negative DIFFICULT TO SAY TOTAL
Apr.08 88 7 5 100 Mar.08 55 33 12 100
Sep.08 88 9 3 100 Sep.08 38 53 10 100
Feb.09 91 5 4 100 Jan.09 29 62 10 100
May.09 93 4 3 100 May.09 33 56 11 100
Oct.09 92 6 3 100 Sep.09 46 44 10 100
Mar.10 90 6 4 100 Mar.10 59 29 12 100
Jun.10 92 6 3 100 Jul.10 70 22 9 100
Oct.10 93 4 3 100 Oct.10 67 21 12 100
Nov.11 80 13 7 100 Sep.11 68 23 9 100
Feb.12 85 9 6 100 Jan.12 64 25 12 100
Sep.12 83 11 6 100 Sep.12 74 17 10 100
Feb.13 85 8 7 100 Feb.13 69 21 9 100
May.13 81 10 9 100 May.13 72 18 9 100
Nov.13 82 10 8 100 Sep.13 69 22 8 100
Feb.14 78 13 9 100 Jan.14 66 26 9 100
May.14 52 38 10 100 May.14 35 49 17 100
Sep.14 48 41 11 100 Sep.14 32 55 13 100
Dec.14 37 48 16 100 Jan. 15 24 63 13 100
Feb.15 34 51 15 100 Mar.15 31 56 13 100
May.15 30 56 14 100 May.15 26 59 14 100
Sep.15 34 53 13 100 Sep.15 33 56 11 100
Feb.16 36 47 13 100 Feb.16 27 59 14 100
May.16 42 43 15 100 May.16 39 47 13 100
Sep.16 40 46 14 100 Sep.16 26 56 17 100
Dec.16 40 47 13 100 Dec.16 34 54 13 100
Feb.17 39 46 15 100 Jan.17 34 54 13 100
May.17 44 37 19 100 May.17 26 59 15 100
Sep.17 37 46 17 100 Sep.17 32 53 15 100
Dec.17 42 39 19 100 Dec.17 28 56 17 100
Feb.18 45 38 18 100 Feb.18 33 55 12 100

 

Table 2. What is your general attitude toward Russia now?  Distribution by macro regions of Ukraine, %

  Ukraine in general, % Western Central South Eastern
Very positive 6 2 6 7 9
Mostly positive 39 23 41 46 50
Mostly negative 24 34 25 16 12
Very negative 14 27 8 13 4
DIFFICULT TO SAY 18 6 8 10 15
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100


Table 3. What type of the relations between Ukraine and Russia would you prefer?

  IN UKRAINE
Date Relations should be the same as with other countries - with closed borders, visa and customs Ukraine and Russia should be independent but friendly states - with no visa, no customs and with open borders Ukraine and Russia should unite in one country Difficult to say Total
Apr.08 10 67 20 3 100
Sep.08 17 66 16 2 100
Feb.09 8 68 23 1 100
May.09 10 65 23 2 100
Oct.09 11 67 19 3 100
Mar.10 11 67 19 3 100
Jun.10 12 70 16 2 100
Oct.10 10 67 20 2 100
Nov.11 13 67 16 1 100
Feb.12 13 69 16 2 100
Sep.12 11 72 14 3 100
Feb.13 13 68 16 3 100
May.13 11 69 14 5 100
Nov.13 12 73 9 6 100
Feb.14 15 68 12 5 100
May.14 32 54 8 5 100
Sep.14 45 44 5 6 100
Dec.14 50 42 3 5 100
Feb. 15 48 43 4 6 100
May.15 45 46 2 7 100
Sep.15 46 45 2 7 100
Feb.16 42 43 4 11 100
May.16 44 44 3 9 100
Sep.16 49 43 3 6 100
Dec.16 45 46 3 7 100
Feb.17 47 43 2 7 100
May.17 43 47 4 6 100
Sep.17 49 40 4 8 100
Dec.17 45 40 4 11 100
Feb.18 44 44 3 9 100

 

  IN RUSSIA
Date Relations should be the same as with other countries - with closed borders, visa and customs Russia and Ukraine should be independent but friendly states - with no visa, no customs and with open borders Ukraine and Russia should unite in one country Difficult to say Total
Mar.08 19  56  19  100
Sep.08 24  52  13  11  100
Jan.09 29  51  12  100
Jun. 09  25  55  14  100
Sep. 09  25  55  13  100
Jan. 10  25  55  14  100
May. 10  17  64  13  100
Sep. 10  16  60  18  100
Sep.11 16 63 14 6 100
Jan.12 16 61 16 8 100
Sep.12 14 60 20 6 100
Feb.13 13 64 18 6 100
May.13 19 58 15 8 100
Sep.13 23 55 16 6 100
Jan.14 19 59 16 6 100
May.14 28 54 12 6 100
Sep.14 26 62 7 5 100
Jan. 15 32 53 7 8 100
May.15 30 54 10 6 100
Sep.15 25 59 8 7 100
Feb.16 32 52 11 5 100
May.16 36 53 7 4 100
Sep.16 39 48 8 6 100
Dec.16 33 53 9 5 100
Jan.17 33 53 9 5 100
May.17 35 50 9 5 100
Sep.17 34 49 11 6 100
Dec.17 33 49 10 8 100
Mar.18 39 45 10 5 100

Western macroregion –  Volynska, Zakarpatska, Ivano-Frankivska, Lvivska, Rivnenska, Ternopilska, Khmelnytska, Chernivets`ka oblasts (regions); Central macroregion –  Kyiv city, Kyivs`ka, Vinnytska, Zhytomyrska, Kirovohradska, Poltavska, Sumska, Cherkaska, Chernihivska oblasts; South macroregion – Dnipropetrovska, Zaporizka, Mykolaivska, Odeska, Khersonska oblasts; Eastern macroregion –  Kharkivska, Donetska, Luhanska oblasts (only regions controlled by Ukraine).

 

 

Table 4. What type of the relations between Ukraine and Russia would you prefer? Distribution by regions, February 2018, %

 

  Ukraine in general, % Western Central South Eastern Western
Relations should be the same as with other countries 44 64 46 29 24 64
Ukraine and Russia should be independent but friendly states 44 30 42 57 57 30
Ukraine and Russia should unite in one country 3 0 5 5 5 0
DIFFICULT TO SAY 8 5 7 10 13 5
DENIAL FROM ANSWERING 1 1 1 0 1 1
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100

 

Regarding the commentary please contact Tetiana Piaskovska: +380675001523


20.3.2018
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