Half of Russians say it might be proper to make use of navy to maintain Ukraine out of NATO, CNN ballot finds


(CNN) — Because the world waits to see if Russia will invade Ukraine, an unique new ballot of each international locations for CNN finds that twice as many Russians consider it might be proper for Moscow to make use of navy drive to stop Kyiv from becoming a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as say it might be fallacious.

One out of each two Russians (50%) says it might be proper, whereas solely 1 / 4 (25%) say it might be fallacious. The opposite quarter (25%) are not sure, in keeping with the survey.

However the ballot additionally discovered that extra Russians suppose it might be fallacious than proper to make use of navy drive “to reunite Russia and Ukraine” – two international locations with a protracted and sophisticated historical past of being intertwined.

It’s an in depth name, however 43% of Russians mentioned use of navy drive in opposition to Ukraine to affix it to Russia can be fallacious, whereas 36% mentioned it might be proper. (The remainder of the respondents mentioned they didn’t know if it might be proper or fallacious.)

Maybe unsurprisingly, most individuals in Ukraine disagree with the usage of drive in opposition to them. Seven out of 10 respondents there mentioned it might be fallacious for Russia to make use of navy drive to stop Ukraine from becoming a member of NATO (70%) or to reunite the 2 international locations (73%).

One in two Russians feels the usage of drive is justified to maintain Ukraine from becoming a member of NATO

We requested: Would it be proper for Russia to make use of navy drive …

… to stop Ukraine from becoming a member of NATO

Russian respondents

Sure Do not know No

Ukrainian respondents

Sure Do not know No

to reunite Russia and Ukraine

Russian respondents

Ukrainian respondents

if Russia feels threatened by international exercise in former Soviet international locations

Russian respondents

Ukrainian respondents

And most Ukrainians reject Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertion in a speech on Monday that their nation has no historic foundation and is actually a creation of the Soviet Union.

Throughout the nation and throughout all ages, a majority of Ukrainians say they don’t seem to be “one individuals” with Russians and that the 2 international locations shouldn’t be one.

The survey, of greater than 1,000 individuals in every nation, was carried out on-line from February 7 to fifteen, earlier than Putin’s speech Monday and Moscow’s recognition of two breakaway separatist republics in Ukraine.

Many in Russia consider their nation can be basically threatened by additional growth of NATO to Ukraine, in keeping with veteran Russian and Soviet-era TV host and journalist Vladimir Pozner.

“It speaks to the view that, ought to Ukraine change into a NATO member, and may NATO forces be deployed on Russia’s doorstep, that may represent an existential risk and due to this fact can’t be allowed,” Pozner informed CNN by electronic mail.

Orysia Lutsevych, head of the Ukraine Discussion board on the Chatham Home suppose tank in London, painted a darker image of the Russian perspective.

“Fashionable-day Russia has a syndrome of collapsing empires,” she informed CNN by electronic mail. “The lack of these lands is introduced as ‘historic injustice’ that must be rectified, together with by drive. Ukraine is considered as a crown jewel that’s ‘being stolen by NATO.’ Tapping into previous Soviet scaremongering of the US and NATO, Russians consider it’s an aggressive bloc that’s in a method of Russia-Ukrainian unity.”

First strike fears

Opposite to Western warnings that Russian President Vladimir Putin is placing forces in place for an assault on the nation’s western neighbor, solely 13% of Russians suppose the Kremlin is prone to provoke navy motion in direction of Ukraine.

Most Russians additionally don’t anticipate a Ukrainian assault on their nation — solely 31% of Russians mentioned that was probably. Actually, two out of three (65%) anticipate a peaceable finish to the tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

“The rationale why 75% of Russians suppose Russia won’t invade Ukraine is just due to what they learn of their newspapers and see on their TV. There may be principally no hysteria, no beating of the battle drum, a constant message that we don’t want a battle and won’t begin one,” Pozner mentioned.

Pozner mentioned Russians are neither naïve nor blind to Western leaders’ warnings that Putin is contemplating invading Ukraine.

He defined: “Russians know what Western leaders are saying. Their statements are broadly featured within the media. The overall feeling is that the West in reality desires Russia to assault Ukraine as a result of that may be to the West’s benefit, it’s goading Russia to assault.”

However Pozner argued that Russians perceive an invasion of Ukraine can be pricey.

“They’re additionally of the opinion that, whereas Ukraine couldn’t stand as much as an all-out Russian invasion, Russia would lose far more from that than any navy victory would win,” he mentioned.

Most Russians anticipate a peaceable finish to the battle – Ukrainians are undecided

We requested: Are both of those situations probably or unlikely

Russia initiating navy motion in direction of Ukraine within the close to future

Russian respondents

Doubtless Do not know Unlikely

Ukrainian respondents

Doubtless Do not know Unlikely

Ukraine initiating navy motion in direction of Russia within the close to future

Russian respondents

Ukrainian respondents

a peaceable finish to tensions between Russia and Ukraine

Russian respondents

Ukrainian respondents

Nevertheless, in keeping with Lutsevych, the prevalence in Russia of the view that their nation was not going to invade Ukraine could illustrate “how Russian state-controlled media and disinformation is shaping an alternate actuality for the Russian inhabitants.”

“Inside Russia the West is introduced as a villain that’s abusing Ukraine to undermine Russia’s greatness. Within the occasion of Russian navy aggression, Russia might be portrayed as preventing the US and NATO forces, and never killing its Slavic brothers,” Lutsevych mentioned.

In the meantime, fewer Ukrainians than Russians consider there might be a peaceable finish to tensions – solely 43% anticipate that.

However Ukrainians are divided about the potential for Russia beginning a battle – 42% anticipate that, whereas 45% suppose it’s unlikely. (The remaining 13% say they don’t know.)

Greater than half of Russians (57%) and three-quarters of Ukrainians (77%) suppose Ukraine is unlikely to provoke navy motion in direction of Russia within the close to future, with simply 31% in Russia and 13% in Ukraine saying they suppose it’s probably that Ukraine will instigate navy battle.

Russians and Ukrainians don’t even agree on whether or not there are Russian navy forces within the separatist-controlled japanese areas of Ukraine known as the Donbas: three quarters of Ukrainians (73%) consider there are Russian troops there, versus one in 5 Russians (19%).

Youthful Russians had been extra probably than the final inhabitants — at 28% — to say their troops had been within the Donbas.

The ballot was accomplished earlier than Putin’s announcement that Russia would ship what he known as “peacekeepers” into the areas.

Russia had maintained for years that it had no troopers on the bottom there, however US, NATO and Ukrainian officers say the Russian authorities provides the separatists, gives them with advisory assist and intelligence, and embeds its personal officers of their ranks.

Brothers or not?

Underlying the fast disaster, Russians and Ukrainians have markedly totally different views on the connection between the 2 international locations and their populations.

Two out of three (64%) Russians say Russians and Ukrainians are one individuals, a place taught within the Soviet period.

Two thirds of Russians consider themselves and Ukrainians as ‘one individuals’ – but not even a 3rd of Ukrainians agree

We requested: Do you view Russians and Ukrainians as “one individuals?

Russian respondents

Sure Do not know No

Ukrainian respondents

Sure Do not know No

Even earlier than his speech on Monday, Putin had been pushing the view that the 2 peoples are one, notably in a tendentious essay last summer.

He claimed “the thought of Ukrainian individuals as a nation separate from the Russians” was formulated by intellectuals as not too long ago because the nineteenth century, disregarding the nations’ complicated historical past by asserting: “Since there was no historic foundation – and couldn’t have been any, conclusions had been substantiated by all types of concoctions.”

Putin argued that Soviet-era “localization coverage” emphasised regional variations, implying these variations had little historic foundation.

“Due to this fact, trendy Ukraine is fully the product of the Soviet period,” he insisted.

Historian Timothy Snyder of Yale College dismissed Putin’s total argument out of hand.

“The issue with the Putin essay is that it’s so totally fallacious on every thing that it’s onerous to know the place to start,” he informed CNN in an electronic mail, citing an instance of the usage of the time period “Ukraine” way back to 1648.

If something, he mentioned, it’s the concept of a Russian nation-state that may be a trendy assemble, not that of Ukraine.

“Russia was not a nationwide concept within the nineteenth century. It was an imperial concept. Smuggled into the essay is the notion that there was a Russian nation, within the trendy sense, in opposition to which Ukraine outlined itself. However there was no such Russian nation within the nineteenth century,” he mentioned.

Whatever the historic debate, Ukrainians have a tendency to consider themselves as a separate individuals, CNN’s ballot discovered.

Simply over 1 / 4 (28%) of individuals in Ukraine say Russians and Ukrainians are one individuals, whereas two thirds (66%) say they don’t seem to be – a mirror picture of the view from throughout the border.

Snyder argued that on this subject, the Ukrainian view ought to prevail.

“The voice of the smaller individuals issues extra. A bigger nation claiming a smaller nation is named imperialism,” he informed CNN by electronic mail.

“Russians are inclined to say Ukrainians and Russians are one individuals as a result of (1) they typically have had little contact with Ukraine and (2) that is what their president says and similar to the Soviet line,” Snyder mentioned.

No area of Ukraine, and no age group, has a majority the place respondents say Russians and Ukrainians are one individuals.

Even in japanese Ukraine, which borders Russia and is partially managed by Russian-backed separatists, fewer than half (45%) of respondents mentioned they agree that Russians and Ukrainians are one individuals – a rating a lot decrease than in Russia.

No area in Ukraine says Ukraine and Russia must be one nation

Japanese Ukraine has the next share of individuals (45%) who see themselves as ‘one individuals’ with Russians in comparison with western Ukraine, however even there, it’s not a majority view like in Russia (64%).

“Russia and Ukraine must be one nation”

Share of respondents who agree

“Russians and Ukrainians are ‘one individuals’”

Share of respondents who agree

Observe: Responses from administrative areas on this map have been been mixed to Northern, Western, Central, Japanese, and Southern wider areas to make sure pattern sizes are consultant.

Supply: CNN/Savanta ComRes

Up to date borders and a generational divide

At the same time as Russians are inclined to say Russians and Ukrainians are one individuals, a majority of Russians (54%) say they need to be two international locations – though a 3rd (34%) say they need to be one nation. The remaining 12% say they have no idea.

Ukrainians overwhelmingly really feel Russia and Ukraine must be two separate international locations, with 85% saying so, 9% saying they need to be one nation, and 6% responding that they didn’t know.

Russians are extra probably than Ukrainians to assist altering the borders of the 2 international locations in order that areas in Ukraine the place individuals could “really feel” extra Russian might formally change into a part of Russia.

Once more, the views throughout the border are mirror photos of one another: two thirds (68%) of Russians would assist altering the borders and eight% would oppose it, whereas two thirds (64%) of Ukrainians oppose it and 13% assist it.

Neither a majority of Russians nor Ukrainians say the 2 international locations must be one, however one in three Russians does suppose so

We requested: Ought to Russia and Ukraine be one nation?

Russian respondents

Sure Do not know No

Ukrainian respondents

Sure Do not know No

Russians and Ukrainians additionally differed on their views of the Soviet Union.

Seven out of 10 Russians (71%) say the Soviet Union was a constructive factor, whereas one in 10 (9%) say it was adverse, whereas Ukrainians had been evenly cut up: 34% mentioned it was constructive and 35% mentioned adverse. The remainders in each international locations had been impartial or undecided about it.

There’s a generational divide on the query in Ukraine, the place 41% of individuals aged 55 and over – sufficiently old to recollect the Soviet Union – see it as having been a constructive factor. Solely 1 / 4 (23%) of 18 to 34-year-olds in Ukraine – individuals born after the collapse of the USSR, or very younger youngsters when it dissolved in 1991 – see it as having been constructive.

The differing views of the USSR stem from totally different relationships with it, Snyder mentioned.

“The Russian management tends to outline Russia because the successor state of the Soviet Union. Extra so than Ukrainians, Russians have a tough time defining a historical past with out the Soviet Union on the heart,” the Yale historian mentioned.

“Russians have a tendency to just accept that the Soviet Union had insurance policies of terror, however consider that the prices of those had been borne equally all through the USSR. In Ukraine, individuals are inclined to consider that the Holodomor of 1932-1933, a political famine engineered by Stalin, was focused at their nation particularly.”

An amazing majority of Russians have a constructive view of the Soviet previous, whereas Ukrainians are divided on this

We requested: Do you take into account the Soviet Union to have been a constructive or a adverse factor?

Russian respondents

Optimistic Don’t know/impartial Unfavorable

Ukrainian respondents

Optimistic Don’t know/impartial Unfavorable

Frequent considerations

Regardless of the broad gulf of their views of one another, Russians and Ukrainians do see eye to eye on some matters.

Given an inventory of 9 traits, Russians and Ukrainians tended to agree on which of them Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky embodied – with some notable variations.

“Robust” and “decisive” had been the second and third hottest solutions for Putin amongst each Russians and Ukrainians. The primary selection was radically totally different: Russians selected “intelligent,” whereas Ukrainians selected “harmful.”

The vast majority of Ukrainians picked solely “pleasant” and “intelligent” as descriptions of their very own president, with some 40% additionally deciding on “pragmatic” and “accountable.” In the meantime, Russians didn’t rank Zelensky excessive on both attribute, with a 3rd (35%) – equally to Ukrainians themselves (32%) – describing him as “harmful.”

Opinions divided sharply on US President Joe Biden. Ukrainians’ most typical descriptions of Biden had been “intelligent,” “robust,” and “accountable,” whereas most Russians didn’t rating him excessive on any of the traits. Half (47%) of Russians known as Biden “harmful,” as did a 3rd (32%) of Ukrainians.

Each nations see Putin as ‘robust’ and ‘decisive’ – however Ukrainians additionally consider him as ‘harmful’

We requested: Does this politician embody every of the next traits?

Respondents from: Russia Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky

President of Ukraine

Vladimir Putin

President of Russia

Joe Biden

President of the USA

Supply: CNN/Savanta ComRes

Majorities in each international locations (57% of Russians and 61% of Ukrainians) described themselves as optimistic in regards to the future for themselves and their households, whereas roughly a 3rd of Russians and Ukrainians (37% and 32% respectively) described themselves as pessimistic.


Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,021 individuals aged 18 and up in Russia and 1,075 individuals 18 and up in Ukraine on-line between February 7 and 15. Information was weighted to be consultant of the Russian and Ukrainian populations by age, intercourse, and area. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 share factors for Russia and plus or minus 3 factors for Ukraine for nation-wide information.

The margins of sampling error for age teams in Ukraine are as follows: 5.6 share factors for ages 18 to 34, 4.8 factors for ages 35 to 54, and 5.2 factors for ages over 55. The margins of sampling error for age teams in Russia are as follows: 5.2 share factors for ages 18 to 34, 5.4 factors for ages 35 to 54, and 5.3 factors for ages over 55.

Geographic areas of Ukraine on the map are constituted of the next administrative areas:

  • Northern: Chernihivska Oblast, Kyivska Oblast, Sumska Oblast, Zhytomyrska Oblast, Kyiv;
  • Western: Chernivetska Oblast, Ivano-Frankivska Oblast, Khmelnytska Oblast, Lvivska Oblast, Rivnenska Oblast, Ternopilska Oblast, Volynska Oblast, Zakarpatska Oblast;
  • Central: Cherkaska Oblast, Dnipropetrovska Oblast, Kirovohradska Oblast, Poltavska Oblast, Vinnytska Oblast;
  • Japanese: Donetska Oblast, Kharkivska Oblast, Luhanska Oblast;
  • Southern: Khersonska Oblast, Mykolaivska Oblast, Odeska Oblast, Zaporizka Oblast, Crimea, Sevastopol.

The margins of sampling error for these geographic areas are between 5.8 and seven.6 share factors.

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