How Ukrainians relate to Russians, and Russians to Ukrainians. February - March 2018

The results of the joint project are published. Kiev International Institute of Sociology and the Russian non-governmental research organization Levada Center.

Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) from 09 to 18 February 2018 conducted its own public opinion poll. The survey was conducted in 110 locations, in all regions of Ukraine, except for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, in a random sample representative of the population of Ukraine over 18 years old. The interview method interviewed 2043 respondents.

The survey in Lugansk and Donetsk regions was carried out only on the territory controlled by the Ukrainian authorities, the sample is representative for the population of Ukraine over 18 years old.

The statistical error of the sample 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 a survey on a representative sample of the Russian population. 1612 people aged 18 years and older were surveyed, from March 07-12, 2018.

In the course of the study, the Ukrainians, as before, asked a question. How do you generally feel about Russia now? And the Russians How do you generally feel about Ukraine?

In Ukraine, in February 2018, 45% of Ukrainians are good or very good towards Russia, 38% are bad or very bad, 17% are undecided. In Russia, 33% of the population treat Ukraine well or very well, 55% are poor or very poor, 12% are undecided.

The ratio of the population of Ukraine to Russia remains better than the ratio of the population of Russia to Ukraine during the entire observation period (since 2008, see chart 1)

The attitude of Ukrainians to Russia substantially depends on the region — in the West, 25% have a positive attitude towards Russia, 47% in the Center, 54% in the South, and 58% in the East.

Western macro-region - Volyn, Transcarpathian, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Rivne, Ternopil, Khmelnitsky, Chernivtsi regions; Central macroregion - Kiev, Kiev, Vinnitsa, Zhytomyr, Kirovograd, Poltava, Sumy, Cherkasy, Chernihiv regions; Southern macroregion - Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Nikolaev, Odessa, Kherson regions; Eastern macro-region - Kharkiv, Donetsk, Lugansk region (areas controlled by Ukraine). Western macro-region - Volyn, Transcarpathian, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Rivne, Ternopil, Khmelnitsky, Chernivtsi regions;  Central macroregion - Kiev, Kiev, Vinnitsa, Zhytomyr, Kirovograd, Poltava, Sumy, Cherkasy, Chernihiv regions;  Southern macroregion - Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Nikolaev, Odessa, Kherson regions;  Eastern macro-region - Kharkiv, Donetsk, Lugansk region (areas controlled by Ukraine)

The number of positively-minded Ukrainians has practically not changed since December 2017, and the number of Russians positively disposed towards Ukraine increased from 28% to 33%).

Chart 1. Dynamics of a positive attitude of the population of Ukraine towards Russia and the population of Russia to Ukraine (% of those who relate to another country well and very well)

In Ukraine, the same number of those who want closed borders with Russia and those who seek independent, but friendly relations (44%). 3% of the polled Ukrainians want to unite into one country (in December there were 4%, the difference is not statistically significant).

Graph 2. What kind of relations with Russia do they want in Ukraine?

The line on the graph “Ukraine and Russia should be independent” is the sum of the first two bars in table 3, that is, the percentage of those who want independence with borders and customs, and those who want independence, but without borders and customs (see table below ).

In Russia, compared with December 2017, the number of people willing to close the border with Ukraine increased (it was 33%, it was 39%), and the number of people who wanted independent and friendly relations decreased (it was 49%, it was 45%). Unite in one country, as in December, 10% of Russians surveyed wish.

Commentary by Levada Center expert Karina Pipia (Russia):

“On the whole, the attitude of Russians towards Ukraine remains mostly negative. But over the past four years, the gap between negative and positive thoughts about the neighboring country has decreased from 2.7 times in January 2015 (64% vs. 24%) to 1.3 now (47% and 35%, respectively).

In December 2017, within the open question, 29% of respondents named Ukraine among the “enemies of Russia”, which was second only to the United States. This indicates the stability of mass sentiments about “hostility from the side of Ukraine”, despite the weakening of the Ukrainian media theme in Russia. It should be noted that Russian public opinion took 5 years to restore a positive perception of Georgia (after the war in 2008).

Attention Russians to events in Ukraine, in the Donbass continues to systematically decline. They were replaced by other foreign policy topics that are of interest to the population: the war in Syria and the exclusion of the Russian team from participating in the Olympic Games. ”

According to the materials KIIS prepared by Marina Deobald