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Mass media / News

Unrequited love

Radio Liberty 14.10.2018 at 16:50

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, non-profit information service funded by the U.S. Congress, broadcasting to the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East and Russia.

The Russians are worse in Ukraine than Ukrainians to Russia. These findings made the authors of the study, carried out jointly by the "Levada-center" and the Kiev international Institute of sociology. Why, in spite of the annexation of Crimea and war in Donbass, the people of Ukraine continue to love Russia? Only just over a third of Russians (33 percent) are positive about Ukraine, while Russia is good or very good are almost half of Ukrainians (48%). These are the findings of a survey conducted in late September of this year. Was polled 1,600 Russians and Ukrainians 2026. Sociologist Volodymyr Paniotto, Director of Kyiv international Institute of sociology, calls unrequited love the attitude of Ukrainians to Russia and said that such positive attitude of the Ukrainians is not the first time, and from the beginning of the joint research of "Levada-centre": – since 2008 until 2014 85 to 90 percent of Ukrainians, including even the inhabitants of the Western regions of the country, have a positive attitude to Russia. At the same time, Russia's attitude towards Ukraine has changed. For example, during the Georgian conflict, only 30 percent of Russians have a positive attitude towards our country. The collapse of a positive attitude of Ukrainians to Russia was, in turn, in 2014 after the Crimea and the war in the Donbass. The minimum was recorded in may 2015 – only 30 percent of respondents treated Russia well. But the percentage of Russians who have a positive attitude to Ukraine was even smaller. After 2015, decreased the intensity of the fighting, came the hybrid world. The world can not say, because every day one or two people die, but in any case, this information has become routine, there is no active hostilities, on television rarely show captured Russian soldiers, and the attitude of Ukrainians to Russia is gradually and slowly began to return to what it was. Now 48 percent of Ukrainians belong to the Russians positively. But not to the leadership of Russia. And quite a high percentage of Russians – 33 percent – have a positive attitude now to the Ukraine: despite the fact that, as noted by Russian sociologists, about Ukraine in the Russian media said only negative. In 2015, several times I spotted the time that was dedicated to Ukraine, and 40 percent of the news about Ukraine have been filed in a negative way. With such a massive and unified, we can say propaganda, because she agreed, as all the media says about the same, 33 percent, i.e. one third of Russians continues to treat Ukraine in a positive way. – You used the phrase "unrequited love", to mention the fact that Ukrainians belong to Russia, despite the fact that, according to the Ukraine, Russia carries out aggression against that country. What is the reason for this unrequited love? There are television channels which occupy the anti-Ukrainian position – I think that before the independence of Ukraine the initial attitude was positive at all. It was a single state, which, unfortunately, were mostly programirovanii, but it introduces the idea of friendship of peoples. After separation of the Ukraine against the Russians began to deteriorate, and the attitude of Ukrainians remained at the same level that was in the Soviet Union. From my point of view, the attitude of Russians has worsened due to some Imperial orientation of Russia. Second, the Russian media focused on the deteriorating image of Ukraine. In Ukraine there was no such unanimity. For example, during the Georgian war, a part of Ukrainians support Georgia, but there were politicians who did not support it, accused Georgia, and many Ukrainians have not changed their opinion about Russia. And the Russians have changed. As for the last poll, should not be discounted that there is an information war, and part of the Ukrainian media is Pro-Russian stance. There are television channels which occupy the anti-Ukrainian position, and certainly there are members who are actually supported by Russia. I saw once an article of the chief of staff of the Russian army, written in 2013. They talked about the features of modern hybrid war, it was a review of mostly American works. But judging by further action, it was realized a presentation of the Russian staff of what a modern war – when 80 percent of resources go to non-military actions. The points: a constant information war, buying of deputies, the formation of opposition and support in the election of the leadership, loyal to the country, which is now at war. Seems to me that such an information space increases the number of Ukrainians are positive towards Russia, believes Ukrainian sociologist Volodymyr Paniotto. His colleague, the Russian sociologist, member of "Levada-center" Alexey Levinson notes that the attitude of the people, i.e. Russians, Ukrainians, has always been better than the attitude to the country and its politicians. He explains why Russians are worse the neighboring state than with the Ukrainians: – the Attitude of Russians to Ukraine has been radically corrupted by the annexation of Crimea, then the war in Eastern Ukraine. It is easy to understand. I would only say that few remember, but in the first weeks after the annexation of Crimea, the Russians thought the Ukrainians will understand why Crimea was ceded to Russia, and will not make a claim. But it was an illusion, in itself, is quite interesting. But she left no traces. Further, the Russian propaganda has done a lot to support the anti-Ukrainian sentiment among Russians. Painting, I think, sad, but very understandable. As for the opinion of Ukrainians on Russia and Russians on Ukraine, there is asymmetry, which stretches for a long time. It is very many surprisingly, even a direct armed conflict, which Ukraine experienced much more painful than in Russia, failed to curb this trend. Although in Ukraine a lot of people who are averse to Russia, but there is a balance of positivity is higher than in Russia. I tried to consult this issue with our Ukrainian colleagues, they confirm that this is not an accident of one individual poll, this is a sustainable trend. Maybe in this case we should speak about Ukrainian national character, which is not as Russian. – In your opinion, the attitude of Russians to Ukrainians to a greater extent form the Russian media or in this case, you need to talk about a few factors? The attitude of the people is more positive than the relevant States – I believe that the main factor is the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russians have the feeling that, having gone, Ukrainians and a few of the peoples that comprised the USSR, so to speak, betrayed Russia. This dramatically increased when Ukraine said about the Western vector of development. The most important thing. Of course, people will learn about it from the media, and then the most important is this fact. And then, indeed, the media have reinforced this negative reaction. The mechanism of the Russian mass media is that they point to the Russian inhabitants of what is currently the trend, build the Kremlin or the President. Exactly what they say in the press and on television is less important than what shows barometer: now we do not love Ukraine, Ukraine – the enemy. – And if you take the attitude of Russians to the citizens of the countries of the former Soviet Union, as it negatively compared to Ukraine? – The attitude of the citizens or just people in General, tend to be more positive than for the respective States. This applies to America and Americans, France and the French and so on. The Russians treat people better than the country. As for the negative attitude to other countries, say, Poland is the same relation as to the Ukraine: they have gone from us to the West and become part of the global confrontation. The Russians strongly feel it. As for the countries that emerged after the collapse of the USSR, we can speak about three types of plants. There are countries that are considered friendly: first of all, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and partly Armenia. There are countries that are considered to be acutely hostile: the Baltic States and Georgia. There are countries of Central Asia, which, in General, are not considered in geopolitical discourses, but are the sources of labor: migrant workers come from, to what attitude very unfriendly. To Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, in General, the Russians especially no way to form their attitude, says Russian sociologist Alexei Levinson. During the survey, Russians and Ukrainians are asked questions about how they see the future of the coexistence of two neighboring States. And here the situation is reversed: among Ukrainians, 39 percent of respondents believe that you need a visa to enter and the appropriate border control on the border, among the Russians hold this view slightly more than 30 percent.