Support for NATO in Ukraine is falling

Summary

The number of people who support Ukraine’s accession to NATO is falling. The number of people who are against NATO and who support the union with Russia, together, is bigger than the number of NATO supporters. This has not been happening for a long time.

Disproof

This pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative suggests that Ukrainian pro-European and pro-NATO aspirations are weakening.

This is a manipulative claim since all available recent polls show the highest ever support for NATO membership in Ukraine. A June 2019 joint poll by the Sociological Group Rating and International Republican Institute shows that the number of NATO supporters in Ukraine reached a historical maximum. Today, 53% of Ukraine support accession to NATO; 29% are against.

Somewhat smaller, but still high support for NATO shows a poll conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv “Democratic Initiatives” Foundation. The August 2019 poll revealed that 41% of Ukrainians would like to see Ukraine as a NATO member. In comparison, only 13-16% of Ukrainians, on average, supported accession to NATO before 2014. The report concludes that the attitude towards NATO has changed dramatically after 2014: the number of NATO supporters has tripled.

Polls conducted earlier this year by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology also confirm that support for NATO remains high. In February 2019, 40% of Ukrainian citizens supported Ukraine accession to NATO. Moreover, if on a referendum there were two possible answers - yes and no - 56% would vote "yes".

See more disinformation cases on Ukraine and NATO.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 166
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, EU/NATO enlargement, NATO
  • Outlet: Voskresnyi Vecher s Vladimirom Soloviovym @ Rossiya 1 time 35:10-35:30
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Foreign aid hinders the return of Syrian refugees from Jordan

Almost 20% of the total number of Syrian refugees in Jordan have returned, but foreign aid hinders their return. Foreign aid reaches refugees in Jordan and makes them settle inside the country to continue receiving aid.

Disproof

This is a Russian recurring narrative presenting Syria as safe and ready for the return of refugees.

UNHCR states that the conditions for a safe, voluntary and dignified return – as per international law - are not currently met. Eight years after the outbreak of the conflict, the situation in Syria is still critical, with millions of Syrians displaced and in need of protection and humanitarian assistance. The potential for violence remains high. The recent creation of the Constitutional Committee is a positive step but much remains to be done towards a sustainable resolution of the conflict.
Human Rights Watch and several other civil society organisations documented cases of Syrian refugees returning to their country only to be arrested, forced into conscription in the army, harassed by security forces or to find their properties confiscated. A June 2019 survey of returnees reported that 75% of them had experienced arrest and harassment at government checkpoints, registry offices, and in the street; as well as being drafted for compulsory military conscription despite promises of exemption. From the beginning of October until mid-November 2018, the Syrian authorities arrested 700 Syrians returning to government-controlled areas, and it is reported that 200  still remain in custody.

Surveys of refugees conducted on the ground by the UNHCR reveal that most of refugees aspire to go home to Syria one day, in a longer term. But for now, the obstacles are the safety and security, as well as lack of adequate housing, concerns over property, scarcity of livelihood opportunities in Syria, not anywhere else.

Western media campaign supports the preparations of the US and NATO for nuclear war

There are some Western countries who actively support the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty in information space, Poland as the US lapdog, and some Baltic states. At the same time, many American analysts began discussing the hypothetical nuclear war between Russia, on the one hand, and the US and NATO, on the other. Nuclear war is presented by them as imminent. They calculate how many bombs will be needed for Moscow, Washington, New York, or St. Petersburg. The world is educated about the inevitability of nuclear war. Hence we see media covering the preparation of the US and NATO for a nuclear war. This is very worrisome given the Ukrainian situation, heated by the US.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy consistent with the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about belligerent West aiming to conduct aggressive activities against Russia. When it comes to the conspiracy about NATO plans to wage a war against Russia, it was addressed by NATO's official website, which says that "any claims that NATO is preparing an attack on Russia are absurd."

Authoritative western media do not run coordinated campaigns and are not dictated by western political powers. A high degree of media freedom in Western countries is reflected in the top ranks that Western countries occupy in respective world rankings including World Press Freedom Index by Reporters without Borders.

The goal of the Crimea takeover was to save it from Donbas-like civil war

A big Russian civilisation concept envisages neither the change in the status of newly independent states nor the territorial expansion of Russia. Crimea accession to Russia was an exception, aimed to save the peninsula from imminent civil war following the Donbas scenario. As we can see, Kremlin does not intend to join South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Donetsk and Luhansk popular republics.

A big Russian civilization differs from European-Transatlantic one with its eclecticism when it comes to politics and values. Instead, the US and Europe rely on the totalitarian promotion of extended understanding of human rights to the detriment of traditional values. A big Russian civilization also differs from state-controlled Chinese civilization by its level of freedom and openness.

Disproof

This is a collection of narratives aimed to justify the illegal Crimea annexation, consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the illegal annexation of Crimea and the war in Ukraine. It also aims at portraying Russia as superior to the West in terms of values and morals, which is in line with the pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's moral decay.

Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea went contrary to Ukrainian and international law norms and Russia's aggressive actions in eastern Ukraine are well-established and thoroughly documented. See our earlier analyses of Ukraine-related disinformation and propaganda campaign: Denigrating Ukraine With Disinformation, and Ukraine Under Information Fire.