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Dynamics of changes in the attitude of the population of Ukraine toward Russia, and in the attitude of the population of Russia toward Ukraine: April, 2008 May, 2016

Press release by Vladimir Paniotto

According to the latest KIIS study, attitudes of the Ukrainians toward Russia split almost equally: share of those who are positively minded to Russia (42%) and share of those who feel bad about it (43%) are the same, the difference is not statistically significant. Also 67% of the Ukrainians hold a positive attitude toward residents of Russia, and 8% - toward the leadership of Russia. According to a parallel studies by KIIS and Levada Center, attitudes of the Ukrainians toward Russia and of the Russians toward Ukraine became more positive. However, the Ukrainians` attitude toward Russia is better than the attitude of the Russians toward Ukraine.

Press release contains the results of the joint project of Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and Russian non-governmental research organization "Levada Center".

On 19-31 of May, 2016 Kyiv International Institute of Sociology conducted all-Ukrainian public opinion poll: 2014 people living in 108 settlements of all regions of Ukraine (except for AR of Crimea) were interviewed personally. Sample is stochastic and representative for the population of Ukraine aged 18 and above.

In Luhansk and Donetsk regions poll was conducted only on the territories that are controlled by Ukraine.

Data of this poll are compared with the data of the previous KIIS surveys that were conducted also on the territories that today are temporarily out of Ukrainian control.

Statistical sample error (with probability 0.95 and design-effect of 1.5) does not exceed:

3.3% - for indicators close to 50%;

2.8% - for indicators close to 25%;

2.0% - for indicators close to 10%;

1.4% - for indicators close to 5%.

                                                                                                                         

Separated data about the attitude toward the Russians and about the attitude toward the leadership of Russia are derived from the study conducted by request of one of KIIS clients and are published with his/her kind consent. Study was conducted on 13-18 of May, 2016: 2039 respondents living in 110 settlements of all regions of Ukraine (except for AR of Crimea) were interviewed personally. Sample was stochastic, 4-staged with quota selection on the last stage. Sample was representative for the population of Ukraine aged 18 and above. In Luhansk and Donetsk regions poll was conducted only on the territories that are controlled by Ukraine.

 

 

 Levada Center” conducted the study on 27-30 of May, 2016 with the sample that is representative for urban and rural population of Russia: 1600 respondents aged 18 and above who live in 137 settlements of 48 regions of the country. Respondents were polled at their homes using the method of personal interviewing. Statistical sample error of these polls data does not exceed 3.4% for indicators close to 50%.

 

As in the previous studies the Ukrainians 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?”

  • According to the latest KIIS study, attitudes of the Ukrainians toward Russia split almost equally: share of those who are positively minded to Russia (42%) and share of those who feel bad about it (43%) are the same, the difference is not statistically significant. Also 67% of the Ukrainians hold a positive attitude toward residents of Russia, and 8% - toward the leadership of Russia. According to a parallel studies by KIIS and Levada Center, attitudes of the Ukrainians toward Russia and of the Russians toward Ukraine became more positive. However, the Ukrainians` attitude toward Russia is better than the attitude of the Russians to Ukraine (such tendency is observed since the start of the research in 2008, only in September of 2015 the difference was insignificant, see Graph 1). That is, 42% (was 36% in February, 2016) of respondents in Ukraine have positive attitude toward Russia while 39% (was 27% in February, 2016) of respondents in Russia are positively minded toward Ukraine – the amount of positively minded Russians toward Ukraine is by 3 percentage points smaller than the amount of positively minded Ukrainians.

  • Amount of negatively minded toward Russia in Ukraine decreased by 4 percentage points comparing to February of 2016 (from 47% in February, 2016 to 43% in May, 2016). Amount of those holding a negative attitude toward Ukraine in Russia is 47% what is by 12 percentage points less than it was in February, 2016 (59%).

  • As to distribution by regions, the share of positively minded Ukrainians has grown in Western (from 21% to 28%), Central (from 29% to 39%) and South (from 44% to 54%) regions. The reverse situation is observed in Eastern region: the share of positively minded Ukrainians decreased by 4 percentage points (from 55% to 51%) what is related to the fact that we could not poll the residents of uncontrolled part of Donbas (as we did in February) where people feel the most positive about Russia.

  • Similar changes by regions occurred with the negative attitude toward Russia. In Western region it decreased by 4 percentage points (from 65% to 61%), in Central region it decreased by 8 percentage points (from 55% to 47%), in South region the share of negatively minded toward Russia decreased by 10 percentage points (from 42% to 32%). The only region where it increased was the Eastern one (from 22% to 28%), it also happened due to the lack of uncontrolled Donbas territories in the sample.

  • Positive attitude of Ukrainians toward Russia is linked mostly to the positive attitude toward the Russians: while 42% of the Ukrainians are positively minded toward Russia, 67% of them have positive attitude toward the Russians, and 8% - toward the leadership of Russia (see Table 5 and Table 6 in Addition). Attitude toward the latter is distributed by regions: less than 2% of respondents in Western region are positively minded toward the leadership of Russia, 6% - in Central region, 16% - in South region, 11% - in Eastern region (without Donbas), 23% - in the controlled territories of Donbas.


Graph1. Dynamicsofthepositiveattitudeof the population of Ukraine toward Russia and of the population of Russia toward Ukraine (% of those who have very positive and mostly positive attitude)

 

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

  • Tendencies in Ukraine did not change much comparing to February, 2016: share of those who prefer closed borders and customs with Russia is 44% (was 42% in February), share of those who prefer friendly relations of two independent states with open borders, no visas and customs is 44% (was 43%), and 3% want two states to unite in one state (was 4%).

  • The situation in Russia also remained almost the same: share of those who prefer closed borders and customs with Ukraine has grown (now it is 36%, was 32% in February), share of those who prefer friendly relations of two independent states with open borders, no visas and customs has not changed (now it is 53%, was 52% in February), and share of those who want two states to unite in one state has decreased (now it is 7%, was 11%).

 

Graph 2. What type of relations with Russia do people in Ukraine prefer?*

 

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

 

CommentarybyOleksiiHrazhdankin, DeputyHeadofLevada-Center

It might be, that improved attitude of the Russians to Ukraine is linked to the exchange of Nadia Savchenko and to hopes that the warming of relations between our countries will come which broke out in this regard. In my opinion, first of all, we need to wait for the next measurement to decide whether this is a trend or a minute positive vibrations (unfortunately, before this poll data the attitude toward Ukraine only continued to deteriorate).

Interest in the events in Ukraine and Donbas has fallen even in comparison with what it was six months ago. Events in Ukraine and Donbas also lost positions in the list of events that attract the attention of the Russians. One certainly may associate it with changes in the content of news broadcasts on Russian TV but actually these changes of the content are happening largely due to the fact that no important shifts in the situation in Donbas happen. No new scandals related to it recently arose, expectations regarding changes in positions of Ukraine and Western countries exhausted, that is, the conflict is being “routinized” and it goes off public attention. It is possible that in these conditions the attitude of the Russians will improve and will return to the traditional positive attitude (actually it can not be any worse than it is already).

 

Commentary of Volodymyr Paniotto, CEO of KIIS

I do not think, that improvement in the attitude of the Ukrainians toward Russia is somehow linked to the exchange of Nadia Savchenko, because unlike the attitude of the Russians, this ratio improved gradually during the last year. It might be that we also are getting used to the conflict, and the attitude toward Russia returns to being traditionally positive. However, unlike the way of presenting the situation in Russia, the killings in the East of the country is a constant theme in all daily news (according to the Ministry of Defense, only in 2016 more than 600 Ukrainian militants died in the East). It is likely, that now Ukrainian media publish less information about the presence of Russian troops in Donbass (especially ranks), thus the population links military actions with the Russians to a lesser extent than it did before. This issue requires further research.

 

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    

 

What is your general attitude toward the Russians (the residents of Russia) now

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

 

What is your general attitude toward the leadership of 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

 

 

Table 3. What is your general attitude toward Russia nowDistribution by macro regions of Ukraine

  Ukraine in general, % Western Central South Eastern
Very positive 8.8 3.9 6.0 12.6 14.6
Mostly positive 33.3 23.9 32.8 41.9 35.9
Mostly negative 28.7 33.8 33.1 24.2 20.8
Very negative 14.3 27.6 13.4 7.7 7.4
DIFFICULT TO SAY 15.0 10.7 14.7 13.7 21.3
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100
Western macroregion –  Volynska, Zakarpatska, Ivano-Frankivska, Lvivska, Rivnenska, Ternopilska, Khmelnytska, Chernivets`ka oblasts (oblast` = region); 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); Donbas – territories of Donetska oblast` (region) that are not controlled by Ukraine.

 

 

 Table 4. What type of the relationship between Ukraine and Russia would you prefer?

  IN UKRAINE
Data 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
 
  IN RUSSIA
Data 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
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

 

 

 

Table 5. What is your general attitude toward the Russians (the residents of Russia)?

100% in column Ukraine in general West Center South East Donbas
Very positive 15.1 6.0 14.2 30.0 16.5 30.0
Mostly positive 51.9 48.4 56.4 43.5 55.3 46.9
Mostly negative 11.7 15.1 10.8 12.2 11.0 3.1
Very negative 9.8 16.1 11.1 5.7 3.8 1.5
DIFFICULT TO SAY 9.9 12.8 7.3 8.7 10.8 10.8
REFUSAL FROM ANSWERING 1.6 1.6 0.3 0.0 2.8 7.7

 

Table 6. What is your general attitude toward the leadership of Russia now?

100% in column Ukraine in general West Center South East Donbas
Very positive 1.9 0.5 2.0 1.7 1.8 8.5
Mostly positive 6.1 1.2 3.8 14.3 9.5 14.6
Mostly negative 14.4 12.3 10.5 20.4 20.5 16.2
Very negative 65.6 79.8 75.6 53.9 50.5 16.2
DIFFICULT TO SAY 9.9 4.9 8.1 8.7 13.5 33.1
REFUSAL FROM ANSWERING 2.0 1.2 0.0 0.9 4.3 11.5

Unlike the data in Table 3, Tables 5 and 6 HAVE slightly different composition of the Southern and Eastern regions.

Western macroregion – Volynska, Rivnenska. Lvivska, Ivano-Frankivska, Ternopilska, Zakarpatska, Khmelnytska, Chernivetska oblasts (oblast` = region); Central macroregion – Vinnytska, Zhytomyrska, Sumska, Chernihivska, Poltavska, Kirovohradska, Cherkaska, Kyivska oblasts, Kyiv city; South macroregion  – Mykolaivska, Khersonska, Odeska oblasts; Eastern macroregion  – Dnipropetrovska, Zaporizka, Kharkivska oblasts; Donbas – Donetska and Luhanska oblasts.

 



22.6.2016
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