Poll: 57% of Residents of Western Ukraine Think That Restricting the Rights of Political Opponents Is Acceptable

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



The inhabitants of the western regions of Ukraine consider that discriminating people possessing unpopular political views (for example, supporting Russia) and displaced persons from Donbass is allowable. This follows from the results of an All-Ukrainian poll concerning human rights.

In Ukraine the second national survey about human rights took place. The project is implemented by the Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the “Ukrainian Sociological Service” company at the request of the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine and in cooperation with the “Human Rights Information Center” public organisation.

The results of the sociological research were presented during a press conference “What Ukrainians know and think about human rights: an assessment of changes 2016-2018” on December 5th in the Lvov press club. The coordinator of the human rights platform Uspishna Varta in Lvov Galina Chaika took part in the event.

According to the data, 70% of respondents in the West of the country declared that they have never personally experienced manifestations of discrimination. Most often respondents declared the existence of discrimination based on age (42%) and disability (31%). Every fourth (24%) respondent declared the existence of discrimination for health and gender reasons.

At the same time, a considerable part of the polled inhabitants of the West allow for discrimination and the restriction of the rights of drug addicts and “oligarchs” (59% of respondents), people having unpopular political views (for example, supporting Russia) (57% are ready to limit their rights), former convicts (53%), and representatives of the LGBT community (48%) In the West the percentage of those who “under certain circumstances” allows for restrictions on the rights of displaced persons (24%) is more than in other regions.

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According to the organisers of the poll, the situation with regards to the protection of rights in the western regions was encouraging.

“Unfortunately, half of the inhabitants of the West who reported that their rights had been violated don’t even try to defend them. But… it turns out that there is exactly the same number of who tried to defend their rights when they were violated – and this is the best figure from all the regions of Ukraine,” commented Svetlana Kolyshko, the head of the group on human rights and the coordinator of the project of the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine.

In turn, the coordinator of “Uspishna Varta” in Lvov Galina Chaika called into question relevance of a regional indicator of discrimination of the political rights.

“The assessment of discrimination of political rights in Ukraine in a regional context raises a question. Thus research shows that discrimination concerning political views is experienced most of all in the South and the East of Ukraine, while in the West this statistic has the smallest number. It is difficult to agree with this, since all legislative initiatives concerning restrictions on political freedoms and human rights are initiated precisely from the Western regions. It is worth remembering the Moratorium on the ban of the Russian cultural product,” noted Chaika.

In general, the organisers of the research stated that Ukrainians appreciate their rights and freedoms, although they are still poorly informed about the contents and the origin of human rights, and also the essence of mechanisms of their realisation.

Half of Polled Ukrainians Think That Crimes Committed by the UAF and Other Militant Formations Are Inexcusable

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