New Polls Good News for Russians and Ukrainians, Bad News for Kremlin, Davydov Says
March 13 – Many people have been struck by new polls showing that Russians have
remarkably positive attitudes about Ukrainians and wish to live in peace and
harmony with them, results that suggest the Kremlin’s propaganda efforts are no
longer obtaining the results they did earlier, Ivan Davydov says.
That is because,
Davydov says, they in the Russian case that people are tired of the regime’s continuing
obsession with Ukraine to the exclusion of almost everything else and want their
government to focus on Russian problems rather than talk about Ukraine as if
that could serve as a distraction.
The Kremlin and
its propagandists achieved remarkable success early on it getting Russians to
have a negative attitude toward Ukraine, often by suggesting the implicit question
to them: “You don’t want to live the way they do in Kyiv, do you?” and getting
the response the regime wanted.
But now, the analyst
says, Russians are responding somewhat differently and that is “bad news” for
the propagandists and the regime they represent. Russians now say “In general
we do not want to be equated with Kyiv. We want you to remember that you live
in Russia and have tried to solve our problems.”
“The next step,”
Davydov says, “one which a year ago seemed unthinkable but now does not appear
impossible at all is for them to answer: ‘Yes, we want things here to be like
they are in Kyiv. We want that citizens can change their rulers.”
The powers that
be in Moscow “don’t have an answer to that,” and their propaganda doesn’t have
a new trick up its sleeve. Moscow TV tells Russians about poverty in Ukraine,
but Russians can see poverty around themselves.And that makes it more difficult for Russians to view Ukrainians as
their chief enemy.
television to talk about their own problems, and they want their rulers to
address them, not spend all their time talking about another country.