August 28, 2023
A Ukrainian public opinion survey provided exclusively to The European Conservative regarding attitudes toward the ongoing conflict with Russia has revealed that while Ukrainians are hopeful for the future, a majority have a deep mistrust of the motivations of the NATO military alliance and the European Union.
The survey was carried out by phone from July 25-27 in all regions of Ukraine that are currently unoccupied by Russian forces and found that the vast majority of Ukrainians over the age of 18, 84%, were positive and hopeful for the future of their country.
However, regarding the NATO military alliance and the EU, 71% of the respondents said NATO and the EU only follow their own interests and simply use Ukraine for their own purposes.
A total of 61% said that they think NATO and the EU only support Ukraine because the situation is profitable for them and believe that NATO and the EU may engage in secret negotiations with Russia. Just 29% of respondents believe Ukraine will join NATO within the next year.
While around half of the respondents believe that the war with Russia will end by 2024, a majority are not confident regarding the aftermath of the conflict. Over half, 56%, say they believe that Ukraine will be indebted to the West for the supply of weapons and other forms of assistance granted during the war.
In terms of individual countries, Ukrainians have a very positive view of their neighbour Poland, which has been a staunch ally of Ukraine throughout the war but has recently somewhat soured due to a recent conflict over grain exports.
Marcin Przydacz, the head of Polish President Andrzej Duda’s international policy office, caused controversy with Ukrainian officials after being asked about a possible extension of an existing grain import ban from Ukraine designed to help Polish farmers.
“Ukraine has really received a lot of support from Poland. I think it would be worth them starting to appreciate the role that Poland has played for Ukraine in recent months and years,” he said.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal criticised Poland for continuing the grain ban saying, “Russia has disrupted the grain initiative, destroying the infrastructure of our Black Sea ports and once again provoking a global food crisis. During this critical time, Poland intends to continue blocking the export of UA grain to the EU. This is an unfriendly and populist move that will severely impact global food security and Ukraine’s economy.”
Ukrainians who took part in the survey were also very positive about their views of the United Kingdom and the United States, with 81% believing both countries to be trusted allies.
The greatest personal fear for Ukrainians regarding the Russian invasion is being evicted from the country and sent somewhere in the Russian periphery, such as Siberia.
A majority of 57% stated they believed the war between Ukraine and Russia could not have been avoided, although those from the eastern parts of Ukraine were more optimistic that the conflict could have been prevented.
While Ukrainian trust in NATO and the EU is low, another survey from last week revealed that the majority of Americans are now in opposition to sending more aid to Ukraine.
A CNN poll conducted by SSRS found that 56% of Americans oppose further aid to Ukraine to fight the war against Russia and 51% stated that their country had already done enough to help Ukraine battle Russian forces.
Ukrainians appear to be war weary as well, as a scandal emerged earlier this month with claims that the head of an enlistment office in Odessa was arrested for taking in as much as 4.6 million euros in bribes in order to declare men unfit for military service.
Yevhen Borisov was arrested by Ukrainian authorities after two days on the run and is believed to have charged men as much as 9,000 euros each to state on their official documents that they were unfit for active combat service.
Authorities became suspicious when Borisov’s mother was able to buy a 3.7 million euro home in Spain in 2022. Borisov himself makes just 1,500 euros per month from his official salary and his mother has only made around 100,000 euros in the last 20 years.
Borisov’s case may not be unique either, as the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence has claimed that there are 106 ongoing investigations into conscription offices and so far, 21 employees have been declared suspicious and employees in several regions have already been arrested in connection with taking bribes.
About the author
Chris Tomlinson is a British-Canadian journalist for The European Conservative. He is focused on migration, European politics, far-left extremism, and Islamic terrorism. Formerly of Breitbart News, he has covered stories from the migration crisis to Brexit and the rise of populism and traditional conservatism across Europe. On Twitter, he is @Tomlinsoncj.