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Poll: Ukrainians see Polish blockade as most negative external factor

by Martin Fornusek April 18, 2024 5:31 PM 2 min read
A banner saying Strike of Polish Haulers hangs on a truck during the blockade of the border crossing to Ukraine near Dorohusk town, Poland. Nov. 6, 2023. (Attila Husejnow/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Ukrainians see tense relations with Poland, namely the ongoing blockade by Polish farmers, as a "foreign" or "external" factor with the most negative influence on Ukraine, according to a survey by Razumkov Center published on April 18.

The poll specifically examined events outside of Ukraine, thus excluding Russia's ongoing full-scale invasion of the country.

On a scale from 1 to 5, with number 1 meaning "no impact" and number 5 denoting "a very strong negative impact," the respondents ranked the Polish blockade at 4.5.

Initially one of the staunchest supporters of Ukraine against Russian aggression, the relationship between Kyiv and Warsaw has grown tense since late last year due to economic disputes. Polish truckers and farmers have intermittently blocked the common border since November 2023, putting ever-increasing strain on the bilateral ties.

The second place (4.4) was assigned to internal political disputes in the U.S. Disagreements between the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress have effectively blocked aid for Ukraine since autumn 2023, with some hardline members of the Republican Party opposing the assistance for Kyiv altogether.

The third place (4.3) went to Hungary's unfriendly policies and Budapest's obstruction of Kyiv's EU integration. Other factors that appeared on the list include growing "Ukraine fatigue" in Europe (4.2), the inability of the global and regional structures to prevent conflicts and stop Russian aggression (4.2), and growing polarization between democratic and authoritarian states (4.0).

Ukrainians are also concerned with Russian hybrid activities in Moldova (3.9), conflicts in the Middle East (3.7), and U.S.-Chinese rivalry (3.7).

The poll further assessed attitudes toward various countries. Canada, Latvia, the U.K., Lithuania, Estonia, France, Germany, Czechia, the Netherlands, and the U.S. ranked highest when comparing the number of respondents who hold favorable and unfavorable attitudes.

These countries were followed by Moldova, Slovakia, Romania, Turkey, Poland, and Hungary, with the last one being the only state toward which negative attitudes outweigh the favorable ones.

In additional queries, 74.3% of Ukrainians are supportive of French President Emmanuel Macron's suggestion about the possibility of Western troops' deployment in Ukraine. Some 12.2% of respondents were against it, and 13.4% said it was difficult to answer.

Some 85.2% of respondents agree with the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) calling on European countries not to recognize Russian President Vladimir Putin's rule as legitimate after the rigged 2024 election. Only 5.2% were against the idea, and 9.6% said it was difficult to answer.

On the topic of Ukraine's bilateral agreements with international partners, 80.7% of respondents believe such deals are likely or rather likely to strengthen Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. Around 8.6% spoke negatively about the bilateral agreements, with 10.7% giving no opinion.

The survey was conducted in 22 Ukrainian oblasts, with the exclusion of occupied territories or places where hostilities are taking place. It involved 2,020 respondents and was carried out between March 21 and 27.

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