Saturday, January 17, 2009

Public Opinion in Ukraine and Russia

Interestingly enough, according to the latest Gallup article, according to their polls taken in 2006-2008, most Ukrainians approve of the performance of Russian leadership.

I am not sure how the questions are phrased, but Ukrainians are one of the most supportive countries in the world with 59% approval, except for Serbia, with 63% approval.

And since Ukraine's leadership has mostly shielded the Ukrainian population from the effects of the gas blockade, I wonder if Ukrainians are going to maintain their high level of support for Putin and Medvedev.

According to recent survey results from the Levada center of Russia, by the way, Russians are hostile to pretty much all of the countries in the world. 54% of Russians consider Ukraine to be Russia's enemy. The country that Russians are most friendly to is Belarus, but not by much. Only 50% of Russians perceive Belarus as a friendly nation, even though Belarus is already heavily integrated into Russia. And that's their highest rating of any nation. There is not nation in the world that more than 50% of Russians perceive as a friendly nation. Ukrainians are a much more friendly people by contrast, with 60% of Ukrainians considering Russia to be a friendly nation and at least a plurality of Ukrainians considering all of their neighbors as friendly nations.

You have to wonder why Russians are so hostile to Ukraine? Is this a result of Moscow's anti-Ukrainian state propaganda? Or is there something deeper in play?


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