With the entry into force of the visa-free regime with the EU, the “Promote Ukraine” public organization made a video story about what Europeans think about Ukraine and Ukrainians, and also conducted a survey that interviewed Europeans from different European countries and compared the concepts of Russian propaganda and European media, and their influence on Europeans. The presentation of the study will be held at the round table in Kiev on June 1, attended by European and Ukrainian experts in the field.
We decided to find out what the inhabitants of the Old World know about Ukraine, how their perceptions of our country changed since the beginning of the conflict with Russia and the annexation of the Crimea.
Contrary to the widespread belief that we are known for embroidered clothes, borsch and beautiful women, nobody recalled these national treasures of Ukraine. Not many who can even remember the name of the Ukrainian president!
From positive moments, Ukraine is no longer associated with a high level of prostitution, because in 5-10 years ago, Europe was dominated by the supply of women of light behavior to Europe (we will remind you in the Netherlands before Euro 2012, even removed the appropriate social film with calls not to go to Ukraine) But none of the interviewees even reminded us of this.
At the same time, the thesis on Ukrainian corruption and Chernobyl is steadily being heard.
Almost everyone knows about the annexation of the Crimea and the conflict with Russia. Many respondents call the conflict a war, sometimes “civil”. Some Europeans have said that the Crimea is no longer considered Ukrainian, although the majority is on the side of Ukraine in a conflict with Russia. Mostly people in Europe are well aware of the events of the Orange Revolution and EuroMaydan because of this “said in all news.” But now these news have become secondary, so some Europeans even believe that the conflict is a verse.
It’s nice that the Europeans ignore the thesis that nationalistic ideas and almost neo-Nazi ideology dominate in Ukraine – no one even mentioned such associations.
Instead, they know about Ukrainian fertile lands that Ukraine was a “breadbasket of Europe” in Soviet times and economic cooperation. Some foreigners also note the high level of education of our citizens, the advantages of a common religion, democratic reforms and even the Ukrainian ballet!
But the most important thing that has changed in relation to the previous times: nobody in Europe no longer believes that Ukraine is part of Russia. Even citizens who are not familiar with international news and, in particular, news about Ukraine, are aware of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although 10 years ago, Ukrainian image-makers had to emphasize Ukraine’s independence from Russia.
Among the sources of information about Ukraine are TV news, press and personal contacts. Europeans who have at least once in Ukraine or have Ukrainian friends and acquaintances (any other ties) are more knowledgeable and more pro-Ukrainian than those who have no contact with the country. Mostly personal contacts become a source of positive information about Ukraine.