Press release №1818


  • 67% of Russians keep track of what is happening in Ukraine
  • 64% support Russia’s foreign policy towards Ukraine

Russians’ attention to Ukraine is decreasing amidst economic crisis and Syrian war.

MOSCOW, February 3, 2016. Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) presents the results of the survey describing whether Russians keep track of the developments in Ukraine; how they assess the politics of the Russian authorities regarding this neighboring state.

Sixty-seven percent of Russians are interested to know about what is happening in Ukraine (71% in September). The corresponding index* made up 21 p. in January (25 p. in September). This is a minimum over the entire measurement period. Retired persons are more interested than younger generations (87% among those who are aged 60 and older versus 55% among 18-24-year-olds).

Russian foreign policy regarding Ukraine has been supported by two-thirds of Russians over the recent two years (64%). The share of those who keep up with the developments constantly is bigger (77%). Non-parliamentary parties’ supporters are less likely to approve of the foreign policies (43%). Twenty-three percent of respondents oppose the political line.

Amidst divergences of opinion with the Kyev authorities, Russians are divided on what policy towards Ukraine Russian government should adhere to. Thirty percent of Russians support political and economic isolation of Ukraine; 28% propose to counteract Ukrainian political course maintaining, at the same time, economic and social ties. Twenty-five percent of Russians would like to get back the comprehensive interaction across all the spheres. 

The Medialogia Company analysis shows that Ukraine was mentioned more than three million times in the Russian media (January 2015 – January 2016). The peak in mentions was in February 2015 (337 thousand). The media reported on the Minsk talks involving representatives of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine. The German Chancellor and the French president discussed the situation in Ukraine in Moscow. The media also reported that Ukraine started to withdraw the heavy armaments from Donbass.

*Interest index shows how closely Russians follow the political developments in Ukraine. The index is based on the question: “Do you keep up with political developments happening in Ukraine? It is measured in points and can vary between 0 and 100. The answer  “Yes, constantly” corresponds to the coefficient “1”; “from time to time” – “0.5”; “not at all”- “0”. The higher the value of index is, the more Russians are interested in the situation in Ukraine.

The VCIOM opinion poll was conducted on January 23-24, 2016. A total of 1600 respondents were interviewed in 130 settlements in 46 regions and republics of Russia. The margin of error does not exceed 3.5%. Russian media monitoring and analysis were carried out by the Medialogia Company using approximately 30 200 sources such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, information agencies and online media. Research period: January 2015 - January 2016.

Do you keep up with political developments happening in Ukraine? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
 1-2.2.14 22-23.2.141-2.3.148-9.3.1415-16.3.1426-27.4.1421-22.6.149-10.8.1418-19.10.1424-25.1.155-6.9.1523-24.1.16
Yes, cons-tantly 262735393930393229382521
From time to time 464746454647474849454646
Not at all 272619161522141922162931
Don’t know 100001010102
Index*26 27 35 39 39 30 39 32 29 38 25 21
In your opinion, has the Russia’s foreign policy towards Ukraine been right or wrong over the recent two years? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
 Total respondentsA Just Russia partySupporters of LDPRSupporters of CPRFSupporters of United Russia partySupporters of non-parliamentary parties I would not take part in elections
Completely right2623 2628311317
Likely right 38373132402938
Likely wrong15141621133018
Completely wrong8813851313
Don’t know 13181411111514
Recently, Russian and Ukrainian authorities have had controversies across a wide range of issues. In your opinion, what policy towards Ukraine should Russia choose today? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
 Total respondents  Aged  18-24 Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more
Political isolation of Ukraine; restricting economic cooperation 3032 32313125
Actively counteracting Ukrainian policy, but developing social and economic cooperation 282527312827
Returning to normal interactions and moving forward despite mutual controversies252021232732
Don’t know 172320151416

Note: Using materials from the site or, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory. Full or partial reproduction of the Medialogia Company materials in other media must contain a reference to the Medialogia Company.

  Results of our study
  In focus