Ukrainians do not receive enough information about the government’s strategy to address the crisis in the country’s occupied territories, according to a new survey of public opinion.
“41.7% of respondents believe they lack information about the strategies and goals of the state regarding Crimea,” said Roman Shutov (left), program director of the NGO Detector Media. “Moreover, 44.9% think they lack information about the strategy and objectives of the country with respect to temporarily occupied areas in eastern Ukraine. 18% of respondents say they have very little information about the plans of the state on the development of the front-line areas.”
His comments followed publication of Detector Media’s survey findings on Russian Propaganda Influence on Public Opinion in Ukraine. The research was conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology with financial support from the Embassy of Sweden to Ukraine. The findings include:
- Ukrainian TV is a major information source about the situation in the country for Ukrainians…
- As an information source about the Donbas conflict, the Ukrainian TV is trusted the most, and the trust to Russian TV-channels is almost zero
- A bit more than ten present of respondents can watch Russian TV-channels at home
- Ukrainians do not have enough information about the death toll of Ukrainian servicemen and Donbas noncombat population….
The report’s release coincides with speculation that Ukraine’s leaders may be ‘giving up on reuniting the country.’
Yet the majority of the citizens surveyed see Russian influence as negative and are unwilling to give up Ukraine’s sovereignty, even if it means an end to the conflict, according to the National Democratic Institute. Additionally, 86 percent of Ukrainians, among whom are sympathizers of both government and opposition parliamentary parties, believe it is important that Ukraine becomes a fully functioning democracy, NDI notes:
Despite the obstacles Ukrainians face in their democratic transition, levels of optimism remain stable. Those who expect the next generation to be better off outnumber those who do not at a ratio of two to one. The potential for citizen engagement has started to grow as Ukrainians look to be involved in decision-making processes. Nearly one in three indicated that they would participate in local budget-setting if given the opportunity. While many Ukrainians are unsure if their communities have been merged as a result of decentralization reforms, the nine percent who say they have directly experienced the merging of communities have a more positive opinion of the process than the rest of the population.
Their overall number, their territorial spread, and their extreme experiences make displaced people a group that the Ukrainian and Russian national and local governments—as well as the West—need to take into account. The displaced are politicized, though they do not form one cohesive political or social force. Many remain dependent on state or family support while remaining in close contact with the areas and people they left behind.
They are also an extreme case to test identities shaped by war, she adds, citing a rare survey of IDPs in Ukraine and of people who fled to Russia from the newly founded Center for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) in Berlin. RTWT