Most EU citizens blame Russia for the situation in Ukraine, but this is not the case in Bulgaria, where more than 44% of Bulgarians believe that the war in Ukraine is the fault of NATO.

According to bourgas.ru, the majority of EU citizens blame Russia for the situation in Ukraine, but this does not apply to Bulgaria, where more than 44% of Bulgarians believe that the war in Ukraine is the fault of NATO. Such data were published by the British sociological agency YouGov.

The survey is based on responses from 16 EU countries and the United Kingdom, and was conducted in the field from April 1st to 25th. YouGov does not have a representative office in our country.

In the Nordic countries, the UK, Poland and the Netherlands, more than 70% of people believe that Russia is responsible for the war in Ukraine. However, in Bulgaria and Greece, the majority view is that either only NATO is responsible, or both NATO and Russia are responsible. Most people in Slovakia and Hungary also do not agree that Russia is mainly to blame for the war.

In our country, 23% believe that Russia is completely to blame for the war. 20% do not know, 13% believe that responsibility is shared equally, and 44% blame only NATO.

While the majority of respondents believe that European countries should invest in defense and security rather than trade and diplomacy with Russia (this opinion has grown significantly in recent months), more people in Bulgaria, Greece, Slovakia and Hungary prefer diplomacy and trade with Russia.

The agency concludes that the European public is more divided about the war in Ukraine than it seems at first glance. The study also examines to what extent and how Europeans in the countries surveyed support or oppose a number of initiatives aimed at countering the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The sending of humanitarian aid to Ukraine (84%), as well as the entry of Ukrainian refugees into European countries (80%) and entry into the labor market (71%) were marked by huge support.

The most difficult thing for Europeans is to send troops to enter the war with Ukraine as part of a NATO operation (on average, only 31% support this). Similarly, only a small fraction of Europeans are willing to accept higher energy prices because of the sanctions imposed on Russia (although 42% support them).

The accelerated membership of Ukraine in the EU received good support (by 49% against 30%). The majority of respondents support sending arms and military equipment to Ukraine (58%). However, again, we see that people in Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and Slovakia are mostly skeptical about sending weapons or military equipment, and also strongly against sending any troops to Ukraine.

What makes these countries different from others included in this study? According to YouGov, some of these countries are known for their strong historical ties to Russia, partly due to religious ties and partly due to similarities between their leftist or communist parties and Russia.

There is also skepticism about the West and NATO, if not outright anti-Americanism. The agency notes that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban usually supports Russia, and so far Hungary has not agreed to oil or gas sanctions against Russia. However, the public in these countries continues to protest against the war and demand further action from their governments, which means that the war is becoming a divisive issue in some European societies.

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