The Czechs and Slovaks on Ukraine

Latest public opinion poll

Foto: CreativeCommons/ Nikola Bagarov

21. 07. 2014
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In their June 2014 surveys, 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) and the Slovak Institute for Public Affairs (Inštitút pre verejné otázky, IVO) asked Czech and Slovak respondents about the situation in Ukraine, the current activities of various groups in the conflict, and active participation of the international community in solving the situation.

  • The Czech public (1,049 inhabitants of the Czech Republic over 15, questioned between the 2nd and 9th of June 2014) showed less interest in what is happening in Ukraine in June 2014 (10% definitely interested, 37% inclined to be interested) than in March 2014 (64%) and May 2014 (to 55%).
  • 66% of them consider the situation in Ukraine important for Czech society and 37% important for them personally.
  • 57% of respondents perceive the situation in Ukraine as a security risk and a threat to world peace, 60% as a risk for European security, and 49% as a threat to the security of the Czech Republic.
  • 40% do have their own opinion on the situation (8% very clearly; 32% rather clearly). 60% do not know which standpoint they should adopt.
  • 41% do not know which standpoint they should adopt on the question of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. 38% voted for preservation of the country’s integrity, and 21% for the splitting up of Ukraine.
  • Only 13% of respondents are for active engagement by the Czech Republic in Ukrainian affairs, while 76% are against it.
  • If not the Czech Republic, then who should be involved? The Czechs favor the UN (52%), the EU (40%) and NATO (31%). 58% of respondents are against the involvement of Russia (28% for involvement) and 65% against US engagement (20% for it).
  • If asked to evaluate the role of certain actors, they see the role of the EU as bad (50%) versus good (37%), as well as the government of Ukraine (35% good, 55% bad), the United States of America (27% good, 58% bad), and Russia (15% good, 78% bad).
  • Men showed more interest in Ukrainian affairs than women (53% compared to 41%). The intensity of interest rises slightly with age, level of education, standard of living, and right-wing political orientation (57%).

Source: CVVM: Postoj české veřejnosti k dění na Ukrajine – červen 2014
CVVM: Tisková správa: Postoj české veřejnosti k dění na Ukrajine – červen 2014 

Although they were asked different questions, it is still useful to compare the answers of Slovak respondents on the situation in Ukraine, obtained by a different poll conducted between the 3rd and 10th of June 2014 among 1,025 respondents. 

  • 83% definitely or may agree: The Ukrainians should decide democratically about their future by themselves without any interference from Russia.
  • 64% definitely or may disagree: Ukraine is a part of the Russian sphere of influence and Russia is thus entitled to engage there.
  • 58% definitely or may agree, 25% definitely or may disagree, 17% do not know: Membership in NATO is a guarantee of safety for Slovakia.
  • 59% definitely or may agree, 24% definitely or may disagree, 17% do not know: If Russia attacked any NATO member state, it is an obligation for Slovakia and other NATO member states to participate in its defense.
  • 46% definitely or may agree, 38% definitely or may disagree, 16% do not know: Due to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, it is necessary to strenghten the military presence of NATO units in the Central and Eastern European countries.
  • 71% definitely or may agree, 17% definitely or may disagree, 12% do not know: It is important for Slovakia to decrease its energy dependence on Russia.
  • 55% definitely or may agree, 29% definitely or may disagree, 16% do not know: Slovakia as a neighbor of Ukraine should help it to become a democratic and prosperous state.

Source: IVO: Európske voľby 2014 a konflikt na Ukrajine očami verejnosti

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.