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Interethnic prejudice in Ukraine, September 2019

By Volodymyr Paniotto

The lowest level of ethnic prejudice in Ukraine towards the Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Russians, the highest - towards the Africans and Roma.

During the year (September 2018), xenophobia had declined slightly from 4.2 to 4.0. In general, the level of xenophobia in Ukraine had been increasing from 1994 to 2007 (in 2007 it was the highest in all time of observations), from 2008 to 2013 it had been decreasing slightly, in the period after the annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas from 2014 to 2018 it had been slightly increasing and have returned to the level of the 2013.

 

On September 6-16, 2019, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted an own all-Ukrainian public opinion poll. Data were collected from 2035 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, 4-staged, 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 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%. The xenophobia index error for the array as a whole is 0.09.

           

Methodological remarks

Usually, we provide methodological information in the appendices, but here the preliminary explanations are necessary. KIIS has been conducting the research about the attitudes of the population of Ukraine to some ethnic groups since 1994. This study is conducted using the scale of Emory S. Bogardus, an American sociologist (his scale adapted by N.Panina). The respondents should answer how close they are to accept the representatives of each ethnic group on the list. This is called a social distance. The minimum social distance is 1 (I agree to admit him/her as a family member), the maximum is 7 (I would not allow him/her to Ukraine). Often, the level of social distance is interpreted as the level of bias to a particular group.

 

I agree to allow the representatives of the national group named in the line in my life...

(SEE TABLE 1, WHERE THEY ARE LISTED IN THE ALPHABETICAL ORDER) 

As members of my family 1
As close friends 2
As neighbors 3
As colleagues 4
As residents of Ukraine 5
As guests of Ukraine 6
Would not allow them to Ukraine 7

 

FOR EACH NATIONAL GROUP MULTIPLE ANSWERS ARE POSSIBLE

Table 1

  Members of my family Close friends Neighbors Colleagues at work Residents of Ukraine Guests of Ukraine Would not allow them to Ukraine
The Americans 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
The Belarusians 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
The Jews 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
The Canadians 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

And so on, the full list is presented in the Addition.

 

Results of the survey

Social distance hierarchy

Graph 1 shows the social distance (the average index obtained using the Bogardus scale) between the population of Ukraine and particular ethnic groups.

Graph 1. Social distance between the adult population of Ukraine and some ethnic groups (Bogardus scale), September 2019


 

The smallest social distances are to the Ukrainian-speaking and Russian-speaking Ukrainians (index 2.2 and 2.7, respectively), most respondents are willing to allow the representatives of these groups as members of their family and close friends. Then come the Belarusians (3.2) and Russians (3.6). All these indicators have not changed significantly over the last year, only the distance to the Russians has slightly decreased (it was 3.8). Then there are several ethnic groups – the Poles, Jews, Crimean Tatars, Canadians, Americans, Germans with about the same social distance of 4.1-4.3. Completing the hierarchy of social distances there are the French (4.4), Romanians (4.7), Africans (5.2), and lastly, Roma people (5.4).

 

Dynamics of xenophobia

Graph 2 shows the dynamics of the xenophobia index, which is calculated as the average social distance to 13 ethnic and linguistic-ethnic groups (all groups except for the Crimean Tatars). The name of the index is conditional, we view this index as an indicator related to the level of xenophobia (in general, xenophobia is a complex multidimensional phenomenon and cannot be characterized by a single indicator).

 

Graph2. Dynamics of the level of xenophobia in Ukraine from 1994 to 2019 (the mean value of social distance on the Bogardus scale for 13 ethnic groups).

 

As you can see, the level of xenophobia in Ukraine had been increasing with some fluctuations from 1994 to 2007, over this period it had increased from 3.5 to 4.3 points (this is the maximum level for all time of observation). From 2008 to 2013, the index has dropped to 4.0 points. In 2014, we conducted two surveys - in February (a score of 4.16) and in October (a score of 4.01), with an average score of 4.09 (i.e. approximately 4.1). Further, the xenophobia index with some fluctuations has increased slightly (from 4.1 to 4.2 partly due to the increase of social distance to the Russians) and in September 2019 it has returned to the level of 2013[1].

 

Commentary of Volodymyr Paniotto, the CEO of KIIS

This year, we decided not to give any detailed information on the factors that affect xenophobia, they remained the same as a year ago (see http://kiis.com.ua/?lang=en&cat=reports&id=793&page=3&y = 2018). Factors such as education (higher education means lower xenophobia), type of settlement (xenophobia is higher in the village than in the city), region of residence, financial status (the higher the welfare level is, the lower is the xenophobia level), and age (xenophobia increases with the increasing of age) influence the level of xenophobia the most.

To interpret our results, it should be borne in mind that some groups reside only outside Ukraine (i.e. the Americans, French), some reside mainly in Ukraine (the Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars), and some live both in Ukraine and abroad (i.e. Russians, Belarusians). In the latter case, some respondents refer to the citizens of Ukraine, some mean the citizens of another country, which complicates the interpretation of the data. In 2018, we conducted two surveys - in September and in October, while in September there was a standard survey with the same list of groups as in previous years, and in October we provided separate questions about the attitudes towards the citizens of Ukraine and the citizens of the countries where the representatives of these ethnic groups mainly reside. The results are shown in Table 2.

Table 2Xenophobia Index (an average social distance on the Bogardus scale) of ethnic groups, September-October 2018

Social distance to Oct.18 Sep.18
The Belarusians – residents of Ukraine 2.95 3.33
The Belarusians – residents of Belarus 3.58
The Jews - residents of Ukraine 383 4.44
The Jews – residents of Israel 4.53
The Poles - residents of Ukraine 3.63 4.12
The Poles – residents of Poland 4.20
The Russians - residents of Ukraine 3.24 3.84
The Russians – residents of Russia 3.89
The Romanians - residents of Ukraine 4.10 4.84
The Romanians – residents of Romania 4.60
The Hungarians - residents of Ukraine 4.03 -
The Hungarians – residents of Hungary 4.55

 

We see that for all ethnic groups, the population of Ukraine treats the citizens of their country better than the citizens of another country (a difference of about 0.5-0.6 points). When we ask questions about the attitude to the Belarusians, Jews, Poles, Russians and Romanians without dividing them into the residents of Ukraine and residents of another country (second column of Table 2), we get a value that is bigger than the value for the Ukrainian citizens and smaller than for foreigners, however, it is closer to the assessments of foreigners. If we replace the abstract (or mixed) ethnic groups with ethnic groups of the residents of Ukraine, we get the following changes (see Graph 3):



[1] Fluctuations may be partly explained by the changes in the availability of occupied territories for the survey. In February 2014, Crimea was still in the sample, and it was no longer included in October 2014, but particular parts of the occupied Donbas (see Addition 2) were included instead. Also, the last study (September 2018), unlike the previous ones, was conducted not with paper questionnaires, but with tablets, but we hope that this did not have much impact on changes in the survey results.

Graph 3. Social distance from the adult population of Ukraine to some ethnic groups (Bogardus scale), September-October 2018

The hierarchy of attitudes towards different ethnic groups (except for the Romanians) remained the same, but the value of the xenophobia index became lower. It would make sense to divide the attitudes to the citizens of Ukraine and foreigners, but then we will "lose" the dynamics from 1994 to 2019, that is, we will not be able to say whether the real changes in the level of ethnic prejudice in the coming years have occurred or whether they are related to the change in the questionnaire. This issue is still under discussion.

 

Addition 1. Tables

Table D1. Distribution of answers about the ethnic groups, September 2019, %

Ethnic or linguistic-ethnic group Ready to allow the representatives of this group as...
  Family members(1 point) Close friends Neighbors (3 points) Colleagues at work Residents of Ukraine Guests of Ukraine (6 points) Would not allow them in Ukraine (7 points) Total Xenophobia Index
(2 points) (4 points) (5 points)
Ukrainian speaking Ukrainians 59,70% 11,40% 5,10% 5,40% 12,60% 5,30% 0,60% 100 2,18
Russian speaking Ukrainians 47,60% 12,00% 7,70% 6,70% 13,80% 9,30% 2,90% 100 2,67
The Belarusians 27,40% 19,00% 16,80% 6,80% 6,20% 22,00% 1,80% 100 3,18
The Russians 34,10% 9,30% 11,20% 5,50% 5,20% 21,00% 13,80% 100 3,56
The Poles 15,60% 13,40% 16,20% 9,40% 6,50% 35,00% 3,90% 100 3,99
The Jews 17,40% 12,60% 12,70% 7,70% 11,60% 28,50% 9,50% 100 4,07
The Crimean Tatars 14,90% 12,40% 11,30% 7,40% 23,00% 23,70% 7,20% 100 4,12
The Canadians 14,50% 15,00% 9,60% 9,20% 6,80% 41,70% 3,20% 100 4,17
The Americans 15,40% 14,20% 7,80% 8,70% 4,80% 42,80% 6,40% 100 4,27
The Germans 11,30% 14,60% 10,30% 11,00% 6,40% 42,00% 4,40% 100 4,31
The French 12,40% 10,30% 10,60% 10,50% 6,20% 47,30% 2,70% 100 4,41
The Romanians 9,00% 8,10% 13,10% 8,10% 8,40% 42,50% 10,90% 100 4,7
The Africans 6,40% 6,60% 6,90% 6,60% 5,20% 51,40% 17,00% 100 5,2
The Romes 4,80% 5,10% 7,10% 5,80% 14,80% 29,20% 33,20% 100 5,41

 

Table D2.  Xenophobia Index(an average social distance on the Bogardus scale) of ethnic groups, September 2019

Ethnic groups Xenophobia Index
Ukrainian speaking Ukrainians 2.18
Russian speaking Ukrainians 2.67
The Belarusians 3.18
The Russians 3.56
The Poles 3.99
The Jews 4.07
The Crimean Tatars 4.11
The Canadians 4.17
The Americans 4.27
The Germans 4.31
The French 4.41
The Romanians 4.70
The Africans 5.20
The Romes 5.41

 

Table D3.  Xenophobia Index(an average social distance on the Bogardus scale) by ages

Year Xenophobia Index
1994 3.45
1995 3.51
1996 3.77
1997 3.85
1998 3.91
1999 3.82
2000 4.06
2001 3.83
2002 4.08
2003 4.11
2004 4.24
2005 4.10
2006 4.24
2007 4.33
2008 4.17
2009 4.19
2010 4.15
2011 4.18
2012 4.09
2013 4.02
2014 4.00
2015 4.26
2016 3.89
2017 4.14
2018 4.20
2019 4.01

 

Addition 1. Sampling characteristics from 2014 to 2018

Omn_Feb 2014

KIIS conducted a public opinion poll “Omnibus” on February 8 - 18, 2014. Data were collected from 2032 respondents residing in all regions of Ukraine (including Kyiv) and the Crimea via personal interviewing. The sample was stochastic and representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and over.

Omn_Oct 2014

On October 9 - 19, 2014 Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted a public opinion poll. Data were collected from 2025 respondents residing in 110 settlements in all regions of Ukraine (except for the AR of Crimea and Luhansk oblast) via personal interviewing. The sample was stochastic and representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and over.

Omn_Sep 2015

On September 9 - 24, 2015 Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted a public opinion poll. Data were collected from 2041 respondents residing in 110 settlements in all regions of Ukraine (except for the AR of Crimea) via personal interviewing. The sample was stochastic and representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and over. In Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts the poll was conducted only in the territories that are controlled by Ukraine, including Donetsk city (which is not under the control of Ukrainian government).

Omn_Sep 2016

On September 16 - 26, 2016 Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted a public opinion poll. Data were collected from 2040 respondents residing in 110 settlements in all regions of Ukraine (except for the AR of Crimea) via personal interviewing. The sample was stochastic and representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and over. In Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts the poll was conducted only in the territories that are controlled by Ukraine.

Omn_May 2017

On May 20 - 29, 2017 Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted a public opinion poll. Data were collected from 2040 respondents residing in 108 settlements in all regions of Ukraine (except for the AR of Crimea) via personal interviewing. The sample was stochastic and representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and over. In Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts the poll was conducted only in the territories that are controlled by Ukraine.

Omn_Sep 2018

On September 8 - 23, 2018 Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted a public opinion poll. Data were collected from 2026 respondents residing in 109 settlements in all regions of Ukraine (except for the AR of Crimea) with the use of tablets. The sample was stochastic, 4-staged and representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and over. In Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts the poll was conducted only in the territories that are controlled by Ukraine.

 

 


7.11.2019
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