Sociological Monitoring of the External Policy Orientations of Ukrainian Society in the 2000–2020s

Sociological Monitoring of the External Policy Orientations of Ukrainian Society in the 2000–2020s

Sushchiy S.Ya.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Chief researcher, Federal Research Center the Southern Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Rostov-on-Don, Russia

ID of the Article: 9653

The publication was prepared as part of the State Assignment of the Southern Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Рroject 122020100349-6.

For citation:

Sushchiy S.Ya. Sociological Monitoring of the External Policy Orientations of Ukrainian Society in the 2000–2020s. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2023. No 6. P. 77-93


In the 1990s-2000s, in the external orientations of Ukrainian society, polls recorded а balance of two main vectors with a certain predominance of the pro-Russian way. In the territorial viewpoint we could state a distinct polarization – the population of the western macroregion was largely oriented towards the European Union, the east and south regions – towards Russia (and the interstate structures it created), the center – in both directions. Consistent pro-European orientation of the Ukrainian government and almost the entire Ukrainian political class, a comprehensive program of “titling” of public life and socio-cultural exclusion from Russia, as well as a socio-demographic factor (change of generations) worked to gradually strengthen Western geo-civilizational vector in the public consciousness of the country’s population. The catalyst for this process was the 2013–2014 socio-political crisis and a number of subsequent events caused by it. In the mid-2010s the drift of the external political and economic orientations of Ukrainian society towards the European Union and NATO was noticeably accelerating. The beginning of the SMO becomes a new trigger for this systemic transit, recorded by all polls in 2022–2023. However, our analysis of their results suggests that while reliably recording the dynamic trends in public opinion, the polls did not reveal real extent of those shifts, they also did not provide correct information about the population’s perceptions on a number of aspects of the political and socio-economic dynamics of Ukraine at all. The radical external convergence of geocivilizational orientations of the inhabitants of the country macro-regions does not mean an equally tangible reduction of diversities in their collective ideas. It is also significant that polls are not able to assess the level of potential socio-psychological adaptability of individual regional communities in Ukraine, which can surface only with a significant change in social reality.

Ukrainian society; sociological surveys; geo-civilizational orientations of the population; macro-regions of Ukraine


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Content No 6, 2023