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 Ukrainians Want To Stay and Fight But Don't See Russians as the Enemy, New Lord Ashcroft Poll Finds

Wednesday, 16 March 2022 02:25.PM

- Most regected NATO membership ban as a price of ending the war. -

Three quarters of Ukrainians are willing to take up arms against Russian troops and only just over one in ten would leave the country if they could, according to a survey conducted in the country for Lord Ashcroft Polls. However, two thirds say that Ukrainians and ethnic Russians have more that unites than divides them.

The poll of 1,040 Ukrainians, conducted by telephone between 1 and 3 March, also finds big majorities against accepting a ban on NATO membership, NATO troop reductions in countries bordering Russia, and official recognition of Crimea as part of Russia as the price for ending the war. The findings include:

• 68% said they thought the sanctions imposed on Russia would be effective in bringing an end to the war. However, only 23% said NATO was doing enough to help Ukraine, while 46% said the same for the EU, 44% for the US, and 8% for China. A majority (53%) said the UK was doing enough.
• 86% said they wanted Ukraine to join NATO, and 6 in 10 said they would feel safer if they knew Ukraine had nuclear weapons.
• 67% said they would be willing to take up arms to fight against Russian troops, and a further 7% said they were already doing so. Only 11% (and only 5% of those aged 65 or over) said they would leave Ukraine tomorrow if they could safely do so.
• Most Ukrainians (56%) said they expected the conflict to be over by the end of March. Fewer than one in ten (9%) said they thought it would last longer than six months.
• 69% said a ban on Ukrainian membership of NATO would be an unacceptable condition for ending the war; 61% said NATO scaling back troops and weapons in countries bordering Russia would be unacceptable. Even more – 78% – said official recognition of Crimea as part of Russia would be unacceptable even if it guaranteed an end to the war.
• 65% agreed that "despite our differences, there is more that unites ethnic Russians living in Ukraine and Ukrainians than divides us."
• 93% said they considered Ukraine's future to be closer to Europe than to Russia, including 78% of those of Russian ethnicity, and 84% of those in the east of the country closest to the Russian border.

In his commentary on the poll results, Lord Ashcroft writes:

"We have all seen the extraordinary bravery and spirit with which the people of Ukraine have responded to Putin's brutal invasion. The results of a survey which, somewhat to my astonishment, a research firm in Kyiv was able to conduct for Lord Ashcroft Polls in the past few days only add to my admiration. If you think an opinion survey is a rather trivial distraction given the magnitude of events that are unfolding, let me say that our partners in Kyiv were pleased to have the chance to show the world something of what Ukrainians are thinking and feeling as they defend their country."

SOURCE: Lord Ashcroft Polls

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