Only 4 percent of Latvian population is now pro-Putin

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine, together with his ally Belarus, is supported by only 4 percent of the population of Latvia, and their number has halved since March, according to a publicly available survey commissioned by the State Chancellery, reported the LETA newswire February 4.

According to the results of the survey, an overwhelming majority of Latvian society supports Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression, and supports the admission of Ukrainian refugees, as well as Ukraine's admission to the European Union and NATO.

Furthermore, the support of Latvian society for Ukraine is increasing. Some 82 percent of the population fully or mainly supports Ukraine's struggle for the independence and freedom of its land, which is 6 percent more compared to March 2022.

73 percent of respondents support the admission of refugees from the Ukrainian war in Latvia, which is 1 percent less than in March.

Ukraine's admission to NATO is supported by 63 percent of residents, which is 12 percent more than in March. 62 percent support Ukraine's accession to the European Union, which is 7 percent more than in March.

Only 4 percent of respondents support Putin and his allies' invasion of Ukraine, and their number has halved since March. The overwhelming majority, or 86 percent of surveyed Latvian residents, is against the war started by Russia in Ukraine.

The majority of respondents, or 60 percent of the population of Latvia, agree that the war in Ukraine increases the tension between Latvians and Russians, and this is 4 percent more than in March. The results in the Latvian and Russian groups are similar.

Latvian residents highly value their media literacy skills and generally trust the information provided by Latvian state institutions and media. 57 percent of Latvian residents believe that they are able to distinguish true information about the war in Ukraine from distorted information.

50 percent trust the information provided by the Latvian state institutions about the war in Ukraine, and 47 percent trust the information provided by the Latvian media.

Distrust of Latvian institutions and media was expressed by 22 - 23 percent of respondents. Among minorities, trust scores are traditionally lower than the average in society.

In response to possible fatigue from news about the war in Ukraine, 52 percent of respondents rejected this, expressing the opinion that they are not tired of this news.

The sense of security has increased due to Latvia's membership in NATO and the European Union. Latvia's membership in NATO creates a sense of security for 48 percent of respondents, which is 11 percent more than in March. Latvia's membership in the European Union creates security for 48 percent of respondents, which is 11 percent more than in March. Every fourth respondent had a negative opinion on these issues, and more often they were non-Latvians.

41 percent of surveyed Latvian residents feel safe in general, because Latvia is not under direct military threat. The opposite opinion was represented by 27 percent of respondents.

Similar to the spring, also in December 2022, Latvian society is quite skeptical about the achievements of Western countries in fighting against Putin's war in Ukraine. Only 22 percent of the surveyed population agreed that Western countries and institutions are acting strongly enough against Putin's war in Ukraine.

Public opinion about the direct involvement of Western countries in the war has not changed. 20 percent of respondents would support it. Every second resident of Latvia, or 49 percent, is against the direct involvement of the West in hostilities in Ukraine.

Only 4 percent of surveyed Latvian residents trust the information provided by Russian state institutions and media about the war in Ukraine. Almost unequivocally, in more than 80 percent of cases, the information provided by both Russian state institutions and Russian media was characterized as unreliable.

More than two-thirds or 68 percent of the surveyed Latvian residents claimed that they had provided material or moral support to Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.

The social research center Latvijas Fakti conducted the survey from December 9 to 19, 2022. A total of 1,057 permanent residents of Latvia aged between 18 and 74 were surveyed.

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