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23 Aug. 2023

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Who is closer to Ukrainians - russians or Europeans: results of a study of the identity of Ukrainian citizens

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Who is closer to Ukrainians - russians or Europeans: results of a study of the identity of Ukrainian citizens

The study showed how many Ukrainians consider themselves Europeans and what percentage of citizens are convinced that Ukrainians and russians are fraternal peoples. Read more about the results of the latest survey by the Razumkov Center

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The full-scale invasion of russia has made significant adjustments not only in the lives but also in the minds of Ukrainians. And while 5 years ago more than 50% of Ukrainians did not consider themselves Europeans, the situation has changed to the exact opposite. 


In addition, according to the published data of a study conducted by the Razumkov Center, the vast majority of Ukrainians (84%) associate the European Union with progress and development, while 83% of respondents associate russia with backwardness and regression, and only 3% of respondents said they see development and progress in russia. If we compare the results with the data of a similar survey conducted in 2017, we can see significant changes in the worldview of Ukrainians. 5 years ago, 16% of respondents had positive associations with russia, while only 51% had negative ones.


So, how do Ukrainians identify themselves today, what associations do they have with russians and russia in general, and what reasons prevent people from feeling like Europeans - let's find out in the article.


How has the attitude of Ukrainians towards russia and russians changed?


According to the survey, only 0.4% of Ukrainians associate russia with the concept of "democracy", 0.6% - with the concept of "freedom", 0.3% - with "welfare", 0.7% - with "stability", 1% - with "humanity", "justice" and "respect for individual rights".

 The concepts associated with russia are primarily "aggression" - 91% (in 2017, 66% of Ukrainian respondents had such an association with russia), "dictatorship" - 87% (60% in 2017), "cruelty" - 89% (57% in 2017).


In addition, survey participants were asked to choose one of three statements:


1. "Ukrainians and russians have always been and remain fraternal peoples";

2. "Ukrainians and russians used to be fraternal peoples, but are no longer so";

3. "Ukrainians and russians have never been fraternal peoples".


In 2017, more than a quarter of respondents agreed with the first statement - 27.4%, while in 2023, only 3.8% agreed. The share of those who believe that Ukrainians and russians used to be fraternal peoples, but are no longer so, has not changed statistically since 2017 (49.6% and 47.7%, respectively). At the same time, the share of those who believe that Ukrainians and russians have never been brothers has increased significantly - from 16% in 2017 to 43.2% in 2023.




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How many Ukrainians feel like Europeans?


In 2023, half of Ukrainians (51%) feel like Europeans (in 2005, the share of Ukrainians with a similar opinion was 36%), while 43% of respondents share the opposite opinion. According to the survey, the most noticeable changes occurred after 2021, when 41% felt European and 49% did not.


Compared to 2021, the share of those who feel European has increased from 56.5% to 68% in western Ukraine, from 43% to 49% in the center, from 32% to 42% in the east, and from 24% to 29% in the south.


Among the main reasons that prevent Ukrainians from feeling like Europeans, respondents named


- low level of well-being - 56% (for comparison, in 2006, the share of Ukrainians who supported the same opinion was 76%)

- low level of culture and education - 21% (in 2006 - 35%);

- social and cultural living conditions - 45% (in 2006 - 41%);

- "non-European" consciousness - 32% (in 2006 - 29%);

- language barrier - 39% (in 2006 - 24%);

- feeling like a representative of another culture - 23% (in 2006 - 11%);

- lack of information about the EU - 8% (in 2006 - also 8%);

- religious affiliation - 8% (in 2006 - 3%).


In general, according to the analysis of experts, over the past 5 years, Ukrainians have begun to associate themselves and the state with the EU countries to a greater extent, while identification with russians, the russian federation and the Soviet Union has almost disappeared. At the same time, Ukrainians began to feel much more strongly that they belong to the authentic Ukrainian culture, and to identify themselves less with other peoples and countries.


We remind you! After more than 1.5 years of full-scale war, russian citizens continue to attempt to enter the territory of Ukraine. Find out more about how many russians managed to get into Ukraine and why they are doing it in our previous article.


Photos: Michal Turek, Seznam Zpravy




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