After Ukraine, Slovaks changed their minds about refugees

There's more compassion than in the past.

Refugees from Ukraine at the pedestrian border crossing in Veľké Slemence, March 1, 2022.Refugees from Ukraine at the pedestrian border crossing in Veľké Slemence, March 1, 2022. (Source: TASR)

The war in Ukraine has altered the attitudes of Slovaks towards refugees.

Even though the overall negative views on migrants and refugees remain present among the Slovak public, people are more welcoming to refugees from Ukraine. Opinions on migration and asylum policy have changed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, tending more towards the liberal. Slovaks are much more compassionate and willing to open the borders to people in need with whom they share a common history, geography and values.

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This stems from a research conducted by the experimental psychologists of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) on how Slovaks feel about migrants and refugees. The psychologists compared the attitudes of Slovakia's inhabitants towards migrants after the migration crisis on the eastern border of the EU in the autumn of 2021, and after the start of the Russian war in Ukraine.

"Surprisingly, the attitudes to migrants and refugees have barely changed at all," said Magdalena Adamus of the Institute of Experimental Psychology of the academy.

Ukrainians are easier to feel compassion for

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