ESC or click to close
Press releases and reports
Attitude of the population of Ukraine toward Russia and of the population of Russia toward Ukraine, September 2018
Press release by Liana Novikova
The number of the Ukrainians who hold positive attitude to Russia increased a bit since February 2018 (even though it is not statistically significant) and now constitutes 48% (it was 45%). In Russia, the number of positively disposed to Ukraine people has not changed and still is 33%. However, the attitude of the Ukrainian population toward Russia has been remaining better than the attitude of Russia's population towards Ukraine since 2008 (when we started the monitoring process).
Compared to February 2018, the support for the independence of Ukraine remains the same (88%). The general tendency also remained unchanged: almost 90% of the population believe that Ukraine should be an independent state. However, the number of those who want closed borders with Russia decreased (from 44% to 38%), and the number of those who want independent relations but with no visas and customs increased (from 44% to 50%). In Russia, compared to March 2018, the number of those who want closed borders and customs with Ukraine decreased from 39% to 32%, while the number of those who want to unite in one country increased (from 10% to 16%).
The Ukrainians consider themselves, first of all, hospitable (48% of respondents), open and simple (36%), patient (36%), hardworking (36%) and peace-loving (33%). Ukrainians believe that the Russians (residents of Russia) are primarily open and simple (22%), hospitable (21%), lazy (15%), impose their own practices on others (14%), hypocritical and sly (13%), and patient (13%).
The residents of Russia (according to the data of Levada Center) consider themselves hospitable (65%), open and simple (58%), peace-loving (54%), patient (50%) ready to help (43%). The residents of Russia believe that Ukrainians are primarily hypocritical and sly (30%), hospitable (26%), secretive (23%), jealous (22%), open and simple (19%).
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 September 8–23, 2018, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted an own all-Ukrainian public opinion poll. Data were collected from 2026 respondents living in 109 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 September 20-26, 2018 with the sample of 1600 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?”
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?”
Commentary of Volodymyr Paniotto, the CEO of KIIS
Over the last year, the attitude of the Ukrainians towards Russia has slightly improved, while the positive attitude of Russians towards Ukraine varied within the margin of sampling error and was, as now, just a bit over 30%. In my opinion, this is due to the influence of the media: in Russia, the negative information with regard to Ukraine is provided consistently and purposefully, therefore the public opinion is more manageable.
Also, I would like to note that in some polls, besides the question about the attitude towards Russia in general, we ask separate questions about the attitude to the Russian leadership and to the Russians. Thus, in the latest study, which we conducted in May 2016 (see the press release http://kiis.com.ua/?lang=ukr&cat=reports&id=632&page=1), 42% of the Ukrainians were positively disposed to Russia, and 67% of the Ukrainians were positively disposed to the Russians, and 8% of the Ukrainians hold a positive attitude to the Russian government (mainly due to the East and Donbass). Thus, the positive attitude of the Ukrainians towards Russia is mainly due to the positive attitude towards the Russians (as well as the positive attitude of the Russians towards Ukraine is associated with a positive attitude towards the Ukrainians). In November 2018, it is planned to obtain new data on the attitude towards the Russians and the Russian leadership separately.
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).
As for the treats of each other`s characters
In addition to the regular questions from the joint monitoring of Levada-Center and KIIS about the relation to the neighboring country and the borders, in September 2018, parallel questions were raised. These questions were asked in order to assess the human qualities of the representatives of own ethnic majority and of the ethnic majority of those living in the neighboring state. In particular, in Ukraine, the following questions were asked: "What do you think, which of the above qualities are the most characteristic of the Russians (the residents of Russia)?", and "What do you think, which of the above qualities are most characteristic of the Ukrainians (the residents of Ukrainian)?" Similar questions were asked in Russia.
According to the surveyed Ukrainians (KIIS data), the Ukrainians are (top 10 characteristic treats):
Hospitable – 48%
Open, simple – 36%
Patient – 36%
Hard-working – 36%
Peaceful – 33%
Reliable, faithful - 21%
Freedom-loving, independent - 19%
Ready to help – 17%
Religious – 14%
With the feeling of self-dignity – 13%
According to the surveyed Ukrainians, the Russians, residents of Russia, are (top 10 characteristic treats):
Open and simple – 22%
Hospitable – 21%
Lazy – 15%
Impose their practices on others – 14%
Hypocritical, sly – 13%
Patient – 13%
Hard-working – 10%
Ready to help – 10%
Peaceful – 10%
Hungry for power, arrogant, envious – 9%
As one can see, when self-assessing the Ukrainians, they rely on positive qualities. More surprisingly, the first two qualities in the Ukrainians' assessment of the Russians are also positive (open, simple, and hospitable). In general, 6 positive and 4 negative treats of the Russians were named.
As for the Russian survey by the Levada Center, the situation is as follows. According to the interviewed residents of Russia, the Ukrainians are (top 10 characteristic treats):
Hypocritical, sly – 30%
Hospitable – 26%
Secretive - 23%
Envious - 22%
Open, simple – 19%
Freedom-loving, independent – 15%
Patient – 15%
Arrogant – 14%
Peaceful - 14%
Lazy – 12%
The Russians named 5 positive and 5 negative treats of the Ukrainians.
According to the interviewed residents of Russia, the Russians are (top 10 characteristic treats):
Hospitable – 65%
Open, simple – 58%
Peaceful – 54%
Patient – 50%
Ready to help – 43%
Reliable, faithful – 40%
Energetic – 33%
Hard-working – 29%
Freedom-loving, independent – 23%
Cultural, educated – 22%
As one can see, all treats of the Russians among those self-esteemed are positive, especially highly Russians appreciate their hospitality (65%), openness (58%) and peacefulness (54%).
In general, it can be said that the Ukrainians are more critical to themselves than the Russians: the average percentage in self-assessments of the first 10 positive qualities for the Ukrainians is 27%, while in the Russians' estimates it is one and a half times bigger - 42%. Also, a higher percentage of the Russians named the negative qualities of the Ukrainians (the sum of the percentages of the negative qualities that were named out of the above 10 qualities is 101%) than the percentage of the Ukrainians who named the negative qualities of the Russians (a similar percentage – 51%).
Addition 1. Formulations of the questions from the questionnaire
What type of relations between Ukraine and Russia would you prefer? ONE ANSWER
What is your general attitude toward Russia now?
Table 1. What is your general attitude toward Ukraine/Russia?
Table 2. What is your general attitude toward Russia now? Distribution by macro-regions of Ukraine, %
Table 3. What type of relations between Ukraine and Russia would you prefer?
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 relations between Ukraine and Russia would you prefer? Distribution by regions, September 2018, %
Table 5. COMPARATIVE TABLE WITH THE QUALITIES (September 2018)
Regarding the commentary, contact, please, Liana Novikova: +38(063)4970764, firstname.lastname@example.org