In International, Media Critique, National Security

A new poll has found that more than two-thirds of Ukrainians (70%) believe Ukraine’s government bears either a great deal or some responsibility for Ukraine’s conflict with Russia. The poll also found that a majority of Ukrainians believe the United States (58%) and NATO (55%) bear either a great deal or some responsibility for the conflict.

The poll was conducted by the nonpartisan and objective research organization (NORC) at the University of Chicago, with funding from the Wall Street Journal, from June 9 to June 13, 2022.

If you ascribe to the Western view that Ukraine includes Crimea and those regions of the Donbas that were under separatist control prior to the beginning of Russia’s invasion on February 24, 2022, then this poll very likely understates, to a considerable degree, the proportion of Ukrainians who believe that Ukraine’s government, the U.S. and NATO bear responsibility for the war. The reason for this is that the poll excluded Crimea and the separatist-controlled parts of Donbas, where there are relatively high concentrations of ethnically Russian and pro-Russian Ukrainians.

Moreover, Zelensky’s government has aggressively suppressed pro-Russian perspectives in Ukraine. In early 2021, Zelensky signed a decree banning three pro-Russian television channels. Then, in March of this year, Zelensky banned eleven political parties deemed by his government to be ‘pro-Russian’, including Opposition Platform — For Life, the largest opposition party in Ukraine’s Parliament immediately prior to the ban. If Ukrainians could express pro-Russian perspectives freely, it is reasonable to assume that an even higher proportion of respondents would have faulted Ukraine’s government, the United States and NATO for the conflict.

Even if we take these poll results at face value, the NORC/WSJ poll blows a gaping hole in the Western narrative about the Ukraine war. Specifically, Western governments have claimed repeatedly that Russia’s attempts to blame Ukraine, the U.S. and NATO for the war are ‘disinformation’. Are we seriously to believe that Ukrainians themselves are being manipulated by Russian disinformation? Notably, the NORC/WSJ poll found that seventy-six percent of the respondents viewed the Russian people very or somewhat negatively. It therefore strains credulity to suggest that Ukrainians in general are unduly influenced by Russia’s claims about the war.

Of course, none of this means that Russia is blameless for the war – indeed, the poll found that a huge majority of respondents (85%) believe that Russia bears a great deal (82%) or some (3%) responsibility for the war – but the claim that Ukraine’s government, the U.S. and NATO are innocent in this disaster simply cannot be reconciled with the views of the Ukrainian people.

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  • Lee

    Oliver Stone on Energy and world domination

  • Lee Hammond

    Oliver Stone on energy and world domination


    What’s your point Dimitri? Of course the U.S., NATO and the Ukraine Gov’t bear some of the blame for the war. But now that it is underway (very tragic and unfortunate for the people of Ukraine) we must hope that it can be ended without a takeover of the whole of Ukraine by Russia. That is what is important, not your point.

  • Gnu Seveneighttwo

    Why also are they leaving out the fact that this war has been started 8 yrs ago in 2014..remember Maidan..dont believe what mainstream news sources of the west are saying as they have become the Empire of Lies.. Putin is the Real Hero stopping the Evildoers

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