NATO Popularity Falls in Ukraine



The proportion of residents of Ukraine — a potential NATO member state until a few years ago — who view NATO as a threat has increased in recent years after years of steady decline between 2008 and 2014. In 2014, after NATO sanctioned Russia after it annexed Crimea, Ukrainians for the first time were more likely to see NATO as protection (36%) than a threat (20%). However, the percentage viewing it as a threat shot back up to 35% in 2016 as the Ukrainian population has grown tired of the ongoing conflict between its military and Russian-backed separatists, as well as a poor economy and rising crime rates. Without a clear end in sight to the conflict, Ukrainians may be losing confidence in NATO’s ability to help them in this crisis.

It might be news to you that NATO was ever expected to help Ukraine with its… crisis, but for many svidomy Ukrainians it is a long-running delusion.

One way that vatniks like to make fun of svidomy is by referencing the TyaschaVDen’ meme (One Thousand Grivnas per Day), based on Poroshenko’s promise in 2014 to pay that amount to every contract soldier. Incidentally, it wasn’t fulfilled, and of course couldn’t be fulfilled; even at current exchange rates, that is $1,000 per month, whereas the Ukraine is now competing with Moldova for having Europe’s lowest average wage at around $200 per month.

That meme is noteable in that it perhaps best of all represents the cargo cultish attitudes of many svidomy Ukrainians towards the West in general. All they would have to do is sign up to the Religion of Reform, topple the Lenin statues, and proclaim their allegiance to the EU and NATO, and very soon they would all have their own TyaschaVDen’ (not to mention visa-free travel with the EU, with the ironic shorthand for that holy grail of Euromaidan, eternally just out of reach, having long become its own meme: Bezviz).

Unfortunately for the svidomy, reality isn’t biased in favor of cargo cults, so disillusionment is inevitable.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. The title on the picture is “Russians’ view on Nato”
    The text implies it is Ukrainians.
    Can you fix one or other please.

    (Very interesting if this if for Ukrainians – thanks)

    Edit – I think this is the picture you meant to show (Ukrainians)

    Both are from this webpage

    AK: Thanks.

  2. Felix Keverich says

    35% of Ukrainians see NATO as a threat. That’s impressive, and evidence that pro-Russian sentiment in Ukraine runs deep.

  3. jimmyriddle says

    More probably, their attitude vis-à-vis Nato and Russia is “a pox on both your houses”.

  4. Felix Keverich says

    In that case they would have simply picked “neither”. But if you see NATO as a “threat”, that means you actually agree with Russia. Compare this to the results from Georgia, which is a genuinely pro-Western/anti-Russian country.

    Protection Threat Neither
    Georgia 37 8 35

  5. TyaschaVDen’

    tysyacha, colloq. tyscha (in Ru and Ua the same).