Here’s what Ukrainians think about the war after 10 months of fighting (and maybe we should think about it…)
According to a survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), 85% of Ukrainians would not want their government to give up part of their territory.
©SAMEER AL-DOUMY / AFP
War in Ukraine
According to a survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), 85% of Ukrainians would not want their government to give up part of their territory. Only 8% of them believe that a part of the territory can be given in order to achieve peace and preserve independence.
Atlantico: According to a survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), 85% of Ukrainians would not want their government to give up part of their territory. Only 8% of them believe that a part of the territory can be given in order to achieve peace and preserve independence. What does this say about the mood of Ukrainian public opinion? Since May, the numbers have always been above 80%. How can it be explained? Can the resistance of the Ukrainian army be explained by the population’s refusal to surrender?
Michael Eric Lambert: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 radicalized the Ukrainian population, which was previously more divided on its relationship with Russia and open to economic and even political rapprochement.
However, this radicalization is related not to 2022, but to the annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the fact that Ukrainians are aware of the military threat posed by Moscow. Prior to the annexation, projects such as joining the Eurasian Economic Union (an alternative to the European Union) were at the center of national debate.
In 2014, Ukrainians, especially those living in the west of the country, realized that Russia’s ambitions in the Black Sea are not only about cultural and economic influence, but also about territorial issues. Nevertheless, at that time, a part of the population, especially in the east of the country, still thought that a rapprochement with Russia was possible. In 2022, a significant shift occurs when Ukrainians in the west and east realize that a military approach is superior to the diplomatic option for the Kremlin, and Ukrainians begin to understand that the only option to remain independent is rapprochement with the West (the European Union). and NATO).
These two threats that Europe will have to protect in 2023
It should be added that with the attack on Russia, the general mobilization of men in Ukraine, as well as the shift of pro-Russian Ukrainians to Russia, recent polls show strong anti-Russian sentiment. the use of the Russian language in everyday life (a long-standing dispute in Ukraine).
In summary, the war made Ukrainians understand that they belong to the Slavic world and are closer to countries like Poland and the Czech Republic than to Russia, and to develop a more European mentality in the sense that they perceive their future more in the Western sphere. Relative to the Eastern sphere.
Apart from its mental state, what is the importance of the Ukrainian population from a logistical or material point of view? Are we underestimating the mobilization of the “rear front”? What lessons can we as Westerners, especially the French, draw from the results of this poll about our position on the war in Ukraine?
The Ukrainian population is united against Russia, which is important because it motivates the soldiers on the front lines to resist and gives them vital psychological support. It is important to remember that the male population of Ukraine is ready to fight against Russia, while the female population, especially the refugees and diaspora in the West, provide economic support by sending funds that allow the troops to resist. .
For France, this confirms several important elements. First, it shows that Ukrainians are psychologically ready to integrate into the European Union (and possibly NATO) because the war has made them value dialogue and diplomacy more than the military option. In fact, it is in France’s interest to support the Ukrainian government’s attempts to join Western structures.
However, 8% of Ukrainians willing to compromise with Russia indicate that issues such as Crimea remain problematic. Indeed, France has every interest in supporting the country’s territorial integrity, but the question of Crimea’s belonging to Ukraine must remain on the table and cannot be a more federal (as in Canada) or even a confederal (in the Swiss model) Ukrainian state. be excluded.
At the same time, and as the war continues, a united Ukrainian opinion against Russia shows that France has every interest in increasing humanitarian and military support to Ukrainians who share the democratic values at the heart of Western societies.
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