Polish support for providing further aid to Ukraine, and assisting Ukrainian refugees in Poland, has waned considerably in recent months, the latest survey has revealed.
The poll, conducted by the LAB Research Center at the University of Warsaw and the University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw, showed a growing disillusionment among Poles toward their Ukrainian neighbors.
“We still want to help, 85 percent of respondents are convinced of this, but not as decisively and unconditionally as they did a year ago or even in January this year,” explained Dr. Robert Staniszewski, project manager of the polling.
In just five months, the percentage of Poles strongly in favor of aiding Ukraine during the war decreased from 62 percent to 42 percent. The number of Poles somewhat in favor of Polish assistance for Ukraine dropped from 47 percent in January to 35 percent.
Meanwhile, a quarter of Poles firmly reject providing additional aid to Ukraine.
Poles are even turning away from assisting Ukrainian refugees in their own country, with the percentage of those “decided” on offering hospitality dropping from 49 to 28 percent. Instead, many Poles now believe that assistance should be given “to some extent,” with this bracket rising from 38 to 50 percent.
A majority of Poles are now against providing free accommodation and meals for Ukrainian refugees, or even allowing them to settle in Poland after the war.
The number of Poles who want Ukrainians to return to their own country after the war ends has increased, with approximately 70 percent of Poles expressing this opinion compared to 53 percent in January 2023.
The research reveals strong disapproval of the social support Poland has provided to Ukrainian refugees. A total of 60 percent of respondents now reject equal access to benefits enjoyed by Poles, and more than half are also against granting allowances (compared to 37 percent last year) and financing the meals and accommodation of Ukrainians
The shift in attitude is attributed to the “demanding behavior” shown by Ukrainians, according to 39 percent of respondents. Some believe that refugees “expect to get everything for free,” explained Dr. Staniszewski.
Another 15 percent indicated that “Ukrainians have more rights than Poles.” According to Mirosław Skórka, the president of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland, this is the “result of anti-Ukrainian opinions circulating on social media” that go unchallenged.