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Changes in the attitude of the Ukrainians toward Russia and of the Russians toward Ukraine

Press release by Tetiana Piaskovska

The attitude of the population of Ukraine toward Russia did not change much, while the attitude of the population of Russia toward Ukraine became worse over the past 6 months. The amount of those Ukrainians who have positive attitude toward Russia decreased by 5 percentage points over the past 2 months what is statistically insignificant (from 42% in May to 40% in September), at the same time in Russia positive attitude over this period decreased by 13 percentage points (from 39% in May to 26% in September). The amount of those Ukrainians who prefer borders with Russia to be closed increased comparing to May 2016 (from 44% to 48%). The amount of those who support this idea in Russia also increased (from 36% to 39%).

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

In a period of September 16 - 20, 2016 Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) has conducted its own public opinion poll in Ukraine. Data were collected from 2040 respondents living in 110 settlements in all regions of Ukraine (except for AR of Crimea) through personal interviews. The sample is stochastic, 4-staged with quota selection on the last stage, the sample is representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and above.

In Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts (regions) survey was conducted only in the territories controlled by Ukraine.

The statistical sample error (with the probability of 0.95 and without the design–effect) does not exceed 2.2% for indicators close to 50%, 1.9% – for indicators close to 25%, 1.3% – for indicators close to 10%, 0.9% – for indicators close to 5%. The design-effect for most variables does not exceed 1.5.

“Levada-Center” conducted the poll on September 23-25, 2016 with the representative all-Russian sample consisting of rural- and urban-based 1602 people aged 18 and above, who live in 137 settlements in 48 regions of the country. The research was conducted at respondents’ homes using the method of personal interviewing. Statistical error with the sample of 1600 people (with the probability of 0.95) does not exceed:

 3.4% - for indicators close to 50%

2.9% - for indicators close to 25% / 75%

2.0% - for indicators close to10% / 90%

1.5% for indicators close to 5% / 95%

 

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?”

  • The attitude of the population of Ukraine to Russia has not changed much, while the attitude of the population of  Russia to Ukraine became worse over the past six months. While in Ukraine the amount of those who are well placed to Russia decreased by 2 percentage points over the 5 months, what is statistically insignificant (42% in May, 40% in September), then in Russia percentage of positive attitude over this period decreased by 13 percentage points (39% in May, 26% in September).

  • The percentage of those Ukrainians who hold negative attitude toward Russia increased by 3 percentage points comparing to May 2016 (from 43% to 46%). The percentage of those who are negatively placed toward Ukraine in Russia increased by 9 percentage points (from 47% to 56%).

  • Comparing to data of May 2016, the percentage of the Ukrainians who have a positive attitude toward Russia increased only in South region (from 54% to 58%). In all other regions, the percentages for this attitude decreased: from 28% to 26% in Western region, from 39% to 35% in Central region, from 50% to 47% in Eastern region.

  • Comparing to data of May 2016, the percentage of the Ukrainians who have a negative attitude toward Russia decreased only in South region (from 32% to 27%). In all other regions this percentage increased: from 61% to 63% in Western region, from 46% to 51% in Central region, from 28% to 32% in Eastern region.

 

 

Commentary by the Deputy Head of Levada-Center Oleksii Hrazhdankin:

“The amount of attention that the population of Russia devotes to the events in Ukraine has decreased significantly comparing to the data of February 2014 – July 2015 when the percentage of those who “attentively” or “very attentively” follow those events was over 50%. During the past year, this percentage is changing depending on the newsmaker in the “corridor” from 32% to 40% (35% in September 2016).

The level of support for the accession of Crimea to Russia decreased comparing to the one observed in March 2014 – May 2015 (in the “corridor” from 84% to 90%), but remains high (in the “corridor” from 82% to 84%, 88% in May 2016, 83% - in September 2016).

The situation in eastern Ukraine is still perceived as "hard" or "critical / explosive" (this opinion is supported by 61 + 18 = 79% of respondents), this value of this indicator increased by 9 percentage points comparing to February of this year (70 + 18 = 88%). The balance of expected changes in the situation ("will become better" - "will become worse") is still negative "-14" (although it is slightly better than in May and July of this year - "-16%" and "17%", respectively).

The attitude of the population of Russia to Ukraine changes, in general, according to the change in the attitude of the population of Ukraine to Russia (after a sharp deterioration in early 2014 it reached its peak in May 2015). However, the attitude of the population of Russia to Ukraine is still worse than the attitude of the population of Ukraine to Russia and varies to a much greater extent depending on the news information. In September 2016 the index of attitude to Ukraine (( "very positive" + "mostly good") - ( "mostly negative" + "very negative")) was 26-56 = -30% in the range between the estimates obtained in May this year (26-63 = -37% and 39 - 47 = -8%).

As before, the residents believe that "Russia and Ukraine should be independent but friendly states" more willingly than that "Russia's relations with Ukraine should be the same as with other countries with closed borders, visas, and customs" (48% and 39%, respectively). The value of the first index continues to decline, and the value of the second index continues to grow (for example, in September 2015 their ratio was 52% and 32%, in September 2014 - 62% and 26%, in January 2014 - 59% and 19%). The percentage of those who believe that "Russia and Ukraine should unite in one state" did not exceed 12% since May 2014 (in September 2016 these were only 8%)”.

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)


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

  • Comparing to May 2016, the percentage of those who prefer closed borders and customs with Russia increased (from 44% to 48%). The situation with other options did not change much: 43% prefer friendly relations with open borders, no customs and visa between two independent states (was 44%), 3% want to unite two states in one (was the same).

  • Comparing to May 2016, the percentage of those Russians who prefer closed borders and customs with Ukraine increased (from 36% to 39%), and the percentage of those who want friendly relations decreased (from 53% to 48%). The tendency with the idea of the union of two states remains the same – 8% support it in Russia (was 7%, the difference is insignificant).

 

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 independence without borders and customs (see tables below).

 

 

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

 

Table 2. What is your general attitude toward Russia nowDistribution by macro regions of Ukraine

  Ukraine in general, % Western Central South Eastern
Very positive 6.7 3.3 3.0 11.6 14.7
Mostly positive 33.1 22.5 31.9 46.7 32.0
Mostly negative 26.2 35.6 27.0 17.3 21.8
Very negative 19.5 27.8 23.6 9.8 10.2
DIFFICULT TO SAY 13.6 9.8 13.9 13.7 19.9
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

 

  IN RUSSIA
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
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

_______________________________
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).

 

 

 



26.10.2016
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