Less than half of Czechs agree with the sanctions against Russia, says the latest CVVM Survey

Latest public opinion poll

Photo: A support event for Ukraine in Brno, CZ (CreativeCommons/Jitka Janů)

24. 10. 2014
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In its latest public opinion survey on Ukraine, the CVVM asked Czech respondents about their standpoint on the EU sanctions against Russia, as well as their opinions on the situation in Ukraine, the current activities of various groups in the conflict and the active participation of the international community. 

The Czech public showed the same level of interest in what is happening in Ukraine (47%; 13% definitely interested, 34% inclined to be interested) as in June 2014 (47%), but still far less than in the time of Crimea occupation (60%). Almost the same percentage of people (48%) declared that they had spoken with someone about the situation in Ukraine.

Men showed more interest in Ukrainian affairs than women (52% compared to 41%). The intensity of interest rises slightly with age, level of education (university graduates declare their interest more often at 66%) and standard of living.

69% of the respondents perceive the situation in Ukraine as a security risk and a threat to world peace, 73% as a risk for European security, and 65% as a threat to the security of the Czech Republic. This is 12 (57%), 13 (60%) and 16 (49%) percentage points respectively more than in the June survey.

61% of the respondents do not know which standpoint they should adopt, while 39% of the respondents do have their own opinion on the situation (11% very clearly; 28% rather clearly). 43% of the respondents do not know which standpoint they should adopt on the question of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. 34% voted for preservation of the country’s integrity, and 23% for the splitting up of Ukraine.

When asked to evaluate the role of certain actors, the respondents see the role of the EU as most positive (40% good vs. 54% bad), followed by the government of Ukraine (39% good vs. 52% bad), the United States of America (31% good vs. 58% bad) and Russia (11% good vs. 82% bad).

Only 16% of the respondents hold the opinion that the Czech Republic should actively engage in Ukrainian affairs. 73% of them are against it.

If not the Czech Republic, then who should be involved? Czechs favour the UN (55%), the EU (44%) and NATO (32%). 50% of the respondents are against the involvement of Russia, which is 8 percentage points less than in the June survey (58%). 65% of the respondents are against US engagement (22% of them for it).

Only 11% of the respondents know well what the EU sanctions against Russia are about, and a further 37% have some indefinite idea about them. 18% have never heard about them and 34% have heard about them, but do not know what they are about.

The people who had at least heard about the sanctions were then asked for their opinions on them. 41% agreed with them, 39% disagreed and 20% did not know what to think about them.

More right-wing respondents voted for the sanctions (58%) in contrast to 39% of left-wing voters. The biggest “pro-sanctions” group consisted heavily of adherents of right-wing parties such as TOP 09 (67% agree, 26% disagree), ODS (56% agree, 22% disagree) and KDU-ČSL (54% agree, 36% disagree). The voters of Andrej Babiš’ ANO are divided into two equal groups (42% agree, 40% disagree). The voters of ČSSD are less inclined to agree with the sanctions (33% agree, 45% disagree). The voters of KSČM are against the sanctions (36% agree, 54% disagree).

Poll info

In the poll, conducted by the Public Opinion Research Centre of the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Centrum pro výzkum veřejného mínění, Sociologický ústav AV ČR, CVVM), 1,017 inhabitants of the Czech Republic over 15 were questioned between the 8th and 15th of September 2014.

Author: Jan Adamec

Jan Adamec

Jan Adamec

is editor of the V4Revue, historian and political scientist. His area of expertise is the history of Hungary, USSR and Czechoslovakia 1948 – 1957. He graduated from Central European University in Budapest and Charles University in Prague where he currently completes his PhD degree with thesis about the Hungarian uprising in 1956.