Russia at the Gates, Again: What do Ukrainians think?

Artem Remizov, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting, has prepared an op-ed within the framework of the “3DCFTAs” project.

For more than a month attention of the Western expert and political establishment is turned towards the border between Ukraine and Russia in close proximity to which the latter amasses its troops. The recent online meeting between the presidents of Russia and the US has not brought the desirable de-escalation. On the contrary, Russia now tries to capitalise on its military build-up by publicly proposing the US and NATO to conclude treaties on “security guarantees” that, in particular, would preclude NATO from further enlargement and make the Alliance cease its activities in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus, and Central Asia.

While analysing the ways to end the ongoing tensions, some observers tend to focus primarily on the geopolitical agendas and motives of the leadership of Russia, the US, and the EU, while downplaying the interest of Ukraine as a state that suffers the most from the aggressive policies of its northern neighbor. Thus, in order to have a complete picture before jumping to conclusions, it is important to understand what Ukraine’s citizens think about the ongoing situation and how this correlates with the outside perceptions of the moods in Ukrainian society.

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