Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Associate Director Alina Polyakova cowrites for Political Violence @ a Glance on a recently released survey that shows Ukrainians’ preference for nonviolent resistance over taking up arms in the ongoing conflict in the country:
On September 3, the Ukrainian government adopted a new national defense strategy set on increasing military spending on weapons and military. Many US experts and officials have also focused their efforts to pressure the Obama administration to provide arms to Ukraine. However, many Ukrainians see another path for dealing with Russia’s armed aggression and occupation: civilian-led nonviolent resistance such as a recent series of nonviolent road blockades by Ukrainian activists and Crimean Tatars to stop Ukrainian companies from trading with occupied Crimea.
Since the onset of the conflict in the Donbas, Ukrainians have shown themselves willing to take up arms to defend their families and the country’s territorial integrity. However, no earlier opinion polls gave the respondents the choice of another path of struggle. A recently released national survey from a representative sample of 1000 adults conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) is the first to assess Ukrainians’ preferences for nonviolent resistance.