A narrow majority of Slovaks would welcome a Russian victory over Ukraine, according to a survey conducted in July for the Slovak website Denník N.
The poll took a representative sample of thousands of people by researchers from the agencies MNFORCE, Seesame, and the Slovak Academy of Sciences.
Respondents answered the question of who they would like to win the war in Ukraine on a 10-point scale, with 1 being a “clear victory for Russia” and 10 being a “clear victory for Ukraine.”
Slightly more than 50 percent of respondents were at least partially on the side of Russia’s victory, and a fifth of all contributors opted for Russia to win clearly.
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Only a third of respondents said they wanted a victory for Ukraine, and 18 percent of respondents stated that they did not know what their preferred outcome would be.
Slovakia is one of the most pro-Russian countries in the European Union alongside Bulgaria; however, other non-EU countries are arguably even more pro-Russian, such as Serbia. However, opinions are also greatly divided along party lines, with supporters of SMER-SD of former Prime Minister Robert Fico overwhelmingly in favor of the Russian side.
Fico remains vocally opposed to sanctions against Russia, and polling shows his party remains popular in the country.
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“Supporters of Ordinary People and Independent Personalities, Progressive Slovakia, and Freedom and Solidarity parties want the victory of Ukraine the most,” wrote Denník N. “Somewhere in the middle are supporters of We Are Family and Voice-Social Democracy. At the other end of the spectrum are supporters of the far-right and Direction-Slovak Social Democracy.”
In 2021, a poll showed that 50 percent of Slovaks had a favorable opinion of Russian President Vladimir Putin, while the same poll showed that 75 percent of Bulgarians had a favorable opinion of Putin. Most Slovaks have also been against the idea of a U.S. military base being installed in their country, but the pro-West government currently in power approved the base despite opposition from the public.
The researchers revealed a more significant difference in opinion between those vaccinated and those not. On average, those vaccinated against Covid-19 with a booster dose unequivocally declared their support for a Ukrainian victory. Those vaccinated but not fully boosted against Covid-19 were evenly split, and the unvaccinated stood behind Russia.