Attitudes in Ukraine toward Russia, Russians divide along regional lines



2014/10/04 • Ukraine

Despite the Russian invasion, approximately half of all residents of Ukraine continue to have a generally positive view of Russia and Russians, but their attitudes vary among regions with those in the predominantly ethnic Ukrainian west having more negative attitudes and those in the more heavily ethnic Russian east more positive ones.

Those are the findings of a poll conducted last month by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology among 2,000 residents of Ukraine and published today by Olga Meshcheryakova on the Novy Region-2 news agency site.

For Ukraine as a whole, the poll found. 14.4 percent of those queried had a very positive attitude toward Russia with 33.7 percent more saying that they had a positive view on the whole.  At the same time, 22.6 percent of Ukrainian residents said they had a mainly negative attitude toward Russia, with an additional 18.7 percent saying they had a “very poor” view of Russia.

But the mix in attitudes varied widely among Ukraine’s regions.  In Western Ukraine, only 2.9 percent respondents have a very positive view of Russia, although 22.3 percent more have a generally positive one. Some 35.6 percent have a mainly negative view of Russia, and 32.1 percent have a very poor one.

In central Ukraine, 1.9 percent of respondents expressed a very good view of Russia, with 30 percent saying they had a mainly positive one. At the same time, 28.3 percent had a mainly poor one, and 25.6 percent a very poor one. In southern Ukraine, the corresponding figures were 19, 39.8, 17.7 and 9.1 percent.

In Kharkiv oblast, 49.3 percent of respondents said they had a very positive view of Russia, with another 30.6 percent saying they had a mainly positive one, according to the poll. Only 19.4 percent had a poor or very poor view of Russia. In Donetsk oblast, the corresponding figures were 34.3, 50, 4.5 and 3 percent.

As far as the attitude of Ukrainian residents to Russians is concerned, these regional differences were reflected as well. For Ukraine as a whole, 20.9 percent of Ukrainians had a very good attitude toward Russians, and 53.1 percent had a generally positive one. Twelve percent had a generally poor attitude toward Russians and 5.6 had a very poor one.

Regionally, the corresponding figures were these: in Western Ukraine, 7.7, 57.9, 21.3 and 6.7 percent; in central Ukraine, 9.2, 54, 16.2, and 9.2 percent; in southern Ukraine, 29.6, 51, 7.3, and 2.2 percent; in Kharkiv oblast, 51.5, 39.6, 4.5 and 4.5 percent; and in Donetsk oblast, 37.8, 52.6, 1.2, and 2.4 percent.

(The figures do not add to 100 percent because they do not include the small shares of people who said they had difficulty answering or did not provide an answer.)


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  • Paul P. Valtos

    Evidently those who have a positive impression of Russia did not take the real history of Ukraine seriously. Just the loss of 10 million Ukrainians to starvation and poverty in 1937/38 should be enough to convince any Ukrainian that Russia is s guaranteed threat. I wonder what the toilet tissue issue is in Ukraine. Course it might be the same as in Russia since Ukrainians have not ride themselves of that crazy Russian style socialism yet.

    • sandy miller

      Are you forgetting 1932/33 and during WW11…they did more damage to Ukrainian cities, towns and villiages than even the Germans.

  • JT

    I find this very hard to believe.

  • sandy miller

    These people don’t know the true history or Ukraine and Russia…It’s all been communist versions. People should know better but if you’ve been brain washed all your life what can you expect. Even though I’v always know both histories I’d figured that was in the past and didn’t dislike Russians. I’ve really come to dislike them intensely now for what they’re encouraging Putin to do to Ukraine.

  • jimhenley

    very surprising to see such support for Russia…..I am a supporter of a free and united Ukraine…but these results cause me to wonder if Ukraine should not be two countries.

    • Danny Smith

      I traveled into east Ukraine some years ago visiting friends there, they classed themselves as Ukrainian.
      I was there on a new year eve and as the evening wore on my host switched her tv to a russian channel and on it was putin wishing everyone a happy new year.. she even stood and toasted with him.
      Russian time is ahead of Ukrainian time, when it was midnight in Ukraine my host did not bother to toast the new year on Ukrainian time.

      To me its as if all the things that was done to Ukraine by kremlin are blocked out.. they walk with eyes and ears shut and do not want to remember those that suffered in Ukraine

  • Murf

    Just because you are russian doesn’t mean you have to believe in V Putin or his kleptocracy.

  • jimhenley

    @ Danny Smith…if the people of Eastern Ukraine share a common language and culture with Russia and listen to Russian TV and media…..they will gravitate back to Russia not knowing or disregarding history. Thanks for sharing this.

  • jimhenley