The people of Slovakia, a small Central European country that happens to be one of the four members of the Visegrád bloc, have revealed themselves to be among the most pro-Russian nation on the continent, with more than half of the public supporting a Russian military victory over Ukraine, according to a newly published opinion poll.
The survey—carried out by Slovakian market research firm MNFORCE, the public relations consultancy group SEESAME, and the Slovak Academy of Sciences—has revealed that 52.1% of Slovaks would welcome a Russian military victory over Ukraine, the Bratislava-based daily newspaper Denník N. reports.
Figures from the poll, published just days ago, likely come as a shock to most in light of the prevailing narrative propagated by the mainstream press which asserts the presence of a uniform anti-Russian front across Europe.
The poll, titled “How are you doing, Slovakia?” asked respondents to state who they would like to see win the Russo-Ukrainian War on a ten-point scale, with one representing a “decisive victory for Russia,” and ten representing a “decisive victory for Ukraine.”
While 52.1% of respondents voiced their desire to see a Russian victory over Ukraine in one form or another, roughly one-fifth (20.6%) stated they wished for a clear and decisive victory for the Russians. Supporters of the former Prime Minister Robert Fico’s economically left-wing, socially conservative, national populist Direction—Social Democracy (SMER) party, which is a member of the Party of European Socialists (PES) grouping in the European parliament, were the most likely to welcome a Russian military victory.
Since the onset of the war, Fico has been an outspoken opponent of sanctions imposed against Russia, and even openly celebrated the 78th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising—a partisan revolt against occupying German troops in World War II—with the Russian ambassador.
Conversely, voters of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities, the party of the prime minister and that which holds the most seats in the parliament, along with the liberal, anti-populist Progressives Slovakia and Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) parties, were the most likely to welcome a Ukrainian victory.
The percentage of respondents who welcomed a Ukrainian victory stood at one-third, while 18% expressed having no preference in the war’s outcome.
Slovakia, alongside Bulgaria, has long been one of the most pro-Russian countries in the European Union. In 2020, four years after the Russians took control of Crimea, 78% of Slovaks viewed Russia as a traditional Slavic brother nation, with half of the country agreeing that western countries unjustly accuse Russia of unlawful behavior, according to a poll carried out by the non-partisan, non-government organization GLOBESEC.
More recently, in a poll published in late January of this year, just prior to Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine, 44% of Slovaks faulted NATO and the United States for the growing tensions along the Russia-Ukraine border.