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Changes in the attitude of the population of Ukraine toward Russia and of the population of Russian toward Ukraine

The attitude of the population of Ukraine toward Russia stays unchangeable (positive attitude – 40%, negative – 47% of the Ukrainians), while the attitude of the population of Russia toward Ukraine became better compared to September 2016. The amount of those Russians who have a positive attitude to Ukraine was 26% in September, and 34% in December. However, this percentage is still smaller than the percentage of the Ukrainians who hold positive attitude to Russia. The amount of those who prefer closed borders and visas between the countries decreased in both states (in Russia – from 39% to 33%, in Ukraine – from 49% to 43%).

The 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 December 3 - 12, 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. In this survey, the sample covered only the controlled part of Donbas in the same proportion as it was registered for Donbas voters in the last parliamentary elections (October 2014) according to the data of CEC.

The statistical sample error (with the probability of 0.95 and the 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%.

“Levada-Center” conducted the poll in the period of December 9-12, 2016 with the representative of Russian population sample consisting of 1602 people aged 18 and above.

 

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?”.

  • The attitude of the population of Ukraine to Russia remain unchangeable, while the attitude of the population of  Russia to Ukraine became better. While in September the amount of those who are well placed to Ukraine was 26%, in December it is 34%. However, this percentage is still smaller than the percentage of the Ukrainians who hold positive attitude to Russia – 40%.

  • The percentage of those Ukrainians who hold negative attitude toward Russia did not change compared to September 2016 – 47%. In Russia, this percentage is 54% (was 56% in September).

  • Comparing to the data of September 2016, the amount of the Ukrainians who have a positive attitude toward Russia increased in the South region (from 58% to 65%) and in the Eastern region (from 47% to 63%). In other regions, the percentages for this attitude decreased: from 26% to 16% in the Western region, from 35% to 31% in the Central region.

  • Comparing to the data of September 2016, the percentage of the Ukrainians who have a negative attitude toward Russia decreased most significantly only in the Eastern region (from 32% to 17%) and slightly decreased in the South region (from 27% to 25%). In other regions, this percentage increased - from 63% to 75% in the Western region, from 51% to 53% in the Central region.

 

Graph1. Dynamics of the positive attitude of 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 September 2016, the percentage of those who prefer closed borders and customs with Russia decreased (from 49% to 45%). The percentage of those who prefer friendly relations of two independent states with open borders and no customs, no visas slightly increased (from 43% to 46%). Also, as it was in September, 3% of Ukrainian respondents want the states to be united in one.

  • Comparing to September 2016, the percentage of those Russians who prefer closed borders and customs with Ukraine increased (from 39% to 49%), and the percentage of those who want friendly relations decreased (from 48% to 43%). The situation for other options did not change much: 9% of the Russians want two states to become one (was 8%, the difference is statistically 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).

 

Commentary of Volodymyr Paniotto, CEO of KIIS, professor of NaUKMA:

 

We conducted the survey in December 2016, before the actions in Avdiivka. The attitude of the Ukrainians toward Russia was stable from May to December 2016, while it was unstable in Russia: the amount of positively minded people periodically decreased and increased from 26% to 39%. In my opinion, it is connected to the influence of mass media, where the information about Ukraine is being presented consistently and purposefully, that is why public opinion is more manageable.

Also, I want to note, that in some polls except for the question about the attitude toward Russia in general, we also asked about the attitude separately to the government of Russia and to the population of Russia. In the last such survey that we conducted in May 2016 (see press release http://kiis.com.ua/?lang=ukr&cat=reports&id=632&page=1), 42% of the Ukrainians have positive attitude toward Russia, 67% - toward the Russians, 8% - toward the government of Russia (mostly owing to the Eastern region and Donbas, even though we polled only the controlled part of Donbas). It shows, that the positive attitude toward Russia among the Ukrainians is mostly connected to their positive attitude toward the Russians themselves (the same situation is observed with the positive attitude of the Russians to Ukraine).

 

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

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

  Ukraine in general, % Western Central South Eastern
Very positive 7.9 3.1 4.1 11.6 21.4
Mostly positive 31.8 12.9 27.2 53.2 41.7
Mostly negative 26.6 35.0 30.8 20.2 10.5
Very negative 20.6 39.9 22.2 4.9 6.4
DIFFICULT TO SAY 13.1 9.1 15.7 10.0 19.9
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100

Table 4. 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
 
  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
Dec.16 33 53 9 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).


10.2.2017
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