Slovaks more of bear huggers

Majority of Slovaks inclined to see Russia as a victim of the West, recent Globsec research showed.

Daniel Milo Daniel Milo (Source: Sme)

People in Slovakia express favourable views and share a high level of affinity towards Russia, and consider the nation a strategic partner.

This stems from a recent opinion poll carried out by the Globsec think tank in September and October 2020 on a sample of 1,000 respondents from nine countries, namely Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia.

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“Given the shared history, this is no surprise,” said Daniel Milo, author of the research, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

A more detailed data shows that as many as 47 percent of respondents older than 65 years consider Russia the most important strategic partner, while this opinion is shared by only 29 percent of respondents aged 18-29 years, he added.

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Slovakia, together with Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro belong to the group of “bear huggers”.

Apart from expressing favourable views of Russia and strong affinity towards the country, the victimhood narrative usually places the blame on the shoulders of the West and NATO, and receives a sympathetic audience and buy-in in these countries, according to Globsec.

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