Support for joining NATO, EU at all time highs in Ukraine
A poll by Rating Sociological Group shows that 62% of Ukrainians support Ukraine joining NATO. The poll, which was taken over Feb. 16-17, also shows that 30% of those polled are against it. The support percentage is an all-time high for Ukraine, Rating noted on its website. Furthermore, 68% of respondees support joining the European Union, versus 24% opposed. The percentage of those who agree with leaving the Minsk agreements if Russia recognizes LNR and DNR shows a different dynamic: 55% support leaving the talks, 24% are against, and 21% undecided.
Rating’s polls also show a lower percentage of Ukrainians believing that a large-scale invasion is likely, and that more people see the army as being able to repel the attack. The percentage of respondents with high expectations of a mass-attack fell from 28% on Feb. 12-13 to 19% on Feb. 16-17. Confidence in Ukraine’s ability to defend itself rose from 58% to 64%. Geographical differences emerged, with those in the east of the country being more pessimistic overall.
James Hydzik: Hard power on the part of Russia has not won it many friends in Ukraine. If it were to stop immediately, perhaps some increase in positive sentiment toward Russia would be measured. Given the tempo of events, we do not see this as likely. Sentiment toward western institutions is likely to remain high for the foreseeable future.