Most Slovaks blame Russia for the war (poll)

Public opinion has shifted. Fewer Slovaks are "bear huggers" after the invasion.

Protest against the war and in support of Ukraine in Bratislava. Protest against the war and in support of Ukraine in Bratislava. (Source: Sme)

Six out of ten Slovaks blame Russia for the war in Ukraine.

The Focus AKO polling agency polled 1,000 respondents for the Hospodárske Noviny daily on Friday, one day after Russia invaded Slovakia's immediate neighbour, Ukraine. More than 62 percent of respondents said Russia was responsible for the war.

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Meanwhile, 25 percent of those polled believe the US is to be blamed for the conflict.

Related article Why Russia is winning the information war in Slovakia Read more 

The claim that the US and the NATO were escalating the tension in Europe is one of the narratives frequently stressed by the pro-Kremlin websites in Slovakia. It has also been adopted by some opposition politicians.

Most prominent among them is the onetime ruling party Smer and its leader Robert Fico, who in his official statement condemned the invasion but reiterated that the war in Ukraine was a conflict between Russia and the US.

Related article Moscow or bust: Fico backs Russia, sees popularity rise Read more 

The Slovak population has been consistently deemed particularly vulnerable to pro-Kremlin propaganda and disinformation by researchers. A poll by the Globsec think tank last year put Slovakia, together with Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro, in the group of “bear huggers”.

In a poll from earlier this year, during the heated discussion about the Defence Cooperation Agreement with the US that the opposition fiercely campaigned against, 44 percent said US and NATO were responsible for the escalation of tension.

Afer the invasion, 8.9 percent of Slovaks polled blamed NATO for the war, while 7.8 percent said Ukraine was responsible and 5 percent said the EU was to be blamed. The respondents in the poll could mark more than one of the offered answers. More than 16 percent did not know or did not want to say.

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About a quarter of those polled is convinced that there will be no war in Slovakia in the near future as a consequence of the war in Ukraine. Nearly half of those polled said they believed war was unlikely, while 13 percent said it was likely and 3 percent definitely expect war to break out in Slovakia.

Related article Allied troops to come sooner. It means bigger players will not sacrifice small countries like Slovakia Read more 

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