News / Europe

    New Survey Finds Many Ukrainians Now Anti-Russia

    Crisis Turns Ukrainian Public Opinioni
    X
    May 21, 2014 9:37 AM
    A new survey indicates that Russia's takeover of Crimea and its support of rebels in eastern Ukraine have turned much of the Ukrainian population against it. As VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv, the moves could also impact Russia in other ways.
    Al Pessin
    A new survey indicates that Russia's takeover of Crimea and its support of rebels in eastern Ukraine have turned much of the Ukrainian population against it. The moves could also impact Russia in other ways.
     
    For many years after the fall of the Soviet Union, most Ukrainians thought their country should be aligned with Russia. That belief had been changing gradually over the years, but not anymore, according to the latest survey by Kyiv's Razumkov Center.
     
    "Really, [the] main lesson is that the situation in Ukraine is changed radically,” said the Razumkov Center’s director of sociological research, Andrii Bychenko.
     
    Bychenko said in a sudden shift more than half of all Ukrainians now believe the country should be more closely aligned with the European Union.
     
    "The main reason why Ukrainian society changed so quickly to pro-European; it's mainly because of Russian aggression," said Bychenko.
     
    Even in eastern Ukraine, where separatists are active, the survey shows only 22 percent of the people want Ukraine aligned with Russia, while 32 percent say it should be closer to the EU. Others have a different view or none at all.
     
    A drop in Russia's popularity in Ukraine may be only part of the story.
     
    Russian exile and strategy expert Igor Sutyagin, now at London's Royal United Services Institute, said that by empowering militants in eastern Ukraine - many of them from Russia -- the Kremlin has created a problem that could backfire.
     
    "They are currently highly radicalized. They have got that feeling of freedom, feeling of fighting against rules. And they have got weapons. Instability in the east of Ukraine is much higher than would be desirable just to control or influence Kyiv's policy," said Sutyagin.
     
    Meanwhile, Sutyagin said, Russian President Vladimir Putin is facing another problem. His quick annexation of Crimea has raised domestic expectations of an easy takeover of eastern Ukraine. Military experts, however, say Russia would face fierce opposition from many local people.
     
    According to Igor Sutyagin, the cost of such a military operation, plus subsidies for an area with serious economic problems and the threatened increase in Western sanctions, make invasion an unattractive prospect.
     
    "It's already too costly for Russia to swallow Crimea. It will be just impossible to swallow the east of Ukraine, but the public is expecting it. So that's the difficulty," said Sutyagin.
     
    Video of well-armed and organized Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, and Russian troops along the border, sometimes make war seem inevitable. It could still happen, but many experts believe President Putin will conclude that the cost in economic terms, in Russia's relations with Ukraine and the West, and possibly in military terms, would be too high.

    You May Like

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora