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Gap between Ukrainians and Russians in their attitude to Stalin – survey

Thursday, 3 August 2023, 11:18
Gap between Ukrainians and Russians in their attitude to Stalin – survey
JOSEPH STALIN. PHOTO:WIKIPEDIA.ORG

As of June 2023, the vast majority of Ukrainians (61%) have a negative attitude towards the Russian dictator Joseph Stalin, and in Russia, on the contrary, the attitude towards Stalin has improved and currently, more than 60% of Russians have a positive attitude towards him. 

Source: Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) survey results published on 3 August

Quote: "Even before the Revolution of Dignity [in 2014], a minority of the population (23%) had a positive attitude towards Stalin. 

Although, at the same time, the negative attitude still did not dominate (37%). Until 2021, the situation did not change significantly, although the general trend was rather towards a decrease in the share of those who had a positive attitude towards Stalin. 

After the full-scale invasion, the public opinion of the population became quite solid; in the summer of 2022, 64% of respondents had a negative attitude towards Stalin, and the share of those who had a positive attitude was 5%. 

As of 2023, 61% of respondents have a negative attitude towards Stalin (some decrease due to the increase from 23% to 26% of those who have an indifferent attitude), and only 4% have a positive attitude."

 
Graph 1. How do you personally feel about Stalin in general? 

Details: Sociologists also tried to compare the dynamics of attitudes toward Stalin among the population of Ukraine and Russia (according to the Levada Center) over the past 10 years. 

If in 2012, in Ukraine and Russia, approximately the same proportion of the population had a positive attitude towards Stalin, then later in Ukraine in general, there were fewer sympathisers of the Soviet dictator, while in Russia, on the contrary, affection for him grew rapidly, and now the majority of the population has a positive attitude.

In Russia, between 2012 and 2023, the share of those who perceive Stalin positively increased from 28% to 63%.

In Ukraine, both young people and older people have a distinctly critical attitude towards Stalin. In Russia, even among young people aged 18-24, 48% have a positive attitude towards Stalin (and only 8% have a negative attitude). Among the older population of Russia, the attitude towards Stalin is even better. 

KIIS reported that it regularly asks questions about the attitude towards Stalin, which sound like "How do you personally feel about Stalin in general?". 

The respondent could choose one of the answers: "with admiration", "with respect", "with sympathy", "indifference", "with dislike, irritation", "with fear", and "with disgust, hatred".

Anton Hrushetskyi, the executive director of KIIS, believes that the attitude towards Stalin is a bright value marker that demonstrates the gap between Ukrainians and Russians.

 
Graph 5. Comparison of the positive attitude towards Stalin in Ukraine and Russia 

KIIS conducted the survey from 26 May to 5 June 2023, using the method of telephone interviews and a computer, based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers. 

984 respondents living in all regions of Ukraine (except the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) were interviewed. The survey was conducted with adults (aged 18 and older) citizens of Ukraine who lived in Ukraine at the time of the survey. 

The sample did not include residents of territories that were not temporarily controlled by the Ukrainian government until 24 February 2022 (AR Crimea, the city of Sevastopol, certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts), and the survey was not conducted with citizens who left the country after 24 February 2022. 

Formally, under normal circumstances, the margin error of such a sample did not exceed 3.4% for indicators close to 50%, 3.0% for indicators close to 25%, 2.1% for indicators close to 10%, and 1.5 % - for indicators close to 5%. 

Under conditions of war, in addition to the specified formal error, a certain systematic deviation is added. 

Out of 984 surveyed respondents, until 24 February 2022, 32 lived in the settlement that is currently occupied. 

Although the views of the respondents who lived in the occupation were somewhat different, the general trends were quite similar. That is, the impossibility of interviewing such respondents does not significantly affect the quality of the results.

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