Ukrainian experts believe that Kremlin is concentrating its efforts on influencing Ukraine through the upcoming elections 2019.
An expert survey “The Kremlin influence on the 2019 Ukraine elections” was presented at an international round-table hosted by Ukrinform.
The Polityka Analytical Center and Ukrainian Meridian Research Center conducted the study between October and November 2018, Ukrinform reported, citing Dmytro Levus, head of Ukrainian Meridian Research Center.
“We interviewed Ukrainians and people from other countries. Poland, Estonia, and Latvia, while Russia was represented by political emigrants living in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Moldova. We chose these countries specifically as their citizens are well aware of what Russia is, and because Moscow has been interfering in their national elections. For Latvia and Estonia, this challenge continues to be a top priority. I am proud of our experts as the study showed very sober, fair forecasts and trends,” Levus said.
According to the expert, a common thing for all research participants was their awareness of the realities of the Ukrainian electoral process. They know the methods of Kremlin’s influence on other countries and participate in repelling efforts of Russia’s aggressive politics in the information space.
Vice-President of the Polityka AC, Oleh Lisnyi, noted that all respondents had the opportunity to express their opinions about what is happening today and what will happen during the 2019 elections. “Indeed, I agree with the majority of you, because we, as Russians believe, have been under their sphere of influence. The Kremlin looks at our elections, our independence and at us in general as a part of themselves. We’re some kind of ‘wrong Russians’ for them. Therefore, they’ll be ‘helping’ us hold presidential and parliamentary elections, and teaching us how to live our lives. Which according to them, we don’t know how to,” he said.
By shedding light on the issue, Lisnyi believes that this study will help prepare Ukrainians for future developments as well as provide a more in-depth understanding of Russia’s current perception of Ukraine. Russians continue to consider Ukrainians as a part of their “own kind,” while often failing to recognize Ukraine as a self-sufficient, independent nation, composed of winners and more than capable of impressing the rest of the world. “I’m sure that we will win. So now, instead of bragging about being ready to defeat the enemy easily, we must soberly look to our weak spots and remain pragmatic and consistent in our struggle,” he said.
The speakers pledged to make the survey report public shortly, assuring that it is something Ukrainian politicians, not only regular voters, should read.
Text: Olexandr Kravchenko